Meringue Cookie Success? Fail?

I was inspired to try to make my first meringue cookies by this post from Clairejustineoxox that she linked to the Valentine Craft Linky

I said she "inspired" me.   I didn't actually use her recipe.  Maybe if I did, they would have turned out better?  Mine weren't bad.  The fact that they were gone in under 10 minutes can testify to that.  But, they weren't the consistency that I expected from a meringue cookie.  When I think of meringue, I think of a light crunchy cookie that's crunchy the entire way through.  Mine were that light crunchiness on the outside, but still a little chewy on the inside.  

I believe my mistake was in finding a recipe that took the least amount of time to cook.  I looked at several meringue recipes and most of them said to cook for an hour or longer.  Or, one of them said cook for an hour, turn the oven off and them leave them in the oven for two hours.  Since it was almost dinner time in my house, that wasn't an option.  So, I found the recipe with the shortest cooking time.

I really think these might have worked better if I cooked them at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time.  But, as I said, they were all gone within 10 minutes and Logan asked if I could make them again.

Fun fact:  To make mine, I used an old-fashioned egg beater!  Logan and I went to the thrift store a couple weeks ago and I saw it and decided to get it.  I don't use an electric mixer for anything.  Electric mixers and I have never gotten along.  Although, I would never turn my nose up at Kitchenaid stand mixer.  Anyway. . . using my old-fashioned egg beater was much easier than trying to whisk it with an old-fashioned whisk.  And it was fun for Jaycee to try it out!  This must have been after she got tired with one hand, because it looks like she's holding it with her arms crossed.  It was a workout for me once I started adding the sugar!  Man!  Who needs the gym.  That's why I like to do things the old-fashioned way sometimes.  Everything took elbow grease back in the day.  I would much rather do some things the olden way.  I used to have an old-fashioned grain mill too.  That one got sold at a garage sale, because it was iron and it was chipping off iron flakes into the stuff I was trying to grind.  I couldn't get a fine enough grind.  I guess it was really only meant for coarse grinds.  I also bake all of my homemade breads by hand.  No bread machine for me. 
I tried piping little hearts out the way Clairejustine did, but since I didn't have parchment paper and should have used different timing on my cooking, they didn't really turn out. (Ignore the dirty oven. . . that darn thing is from the 60s and is gas, so I don't know how to clean it.  Thank goodness for the addition!  I'll only have to live with the lovely brown beast for maybe another year) 
So I made the rest of the rest of the meringue cookies in miniature cupcake liners. 

Have you ever made meringue cookies?  Have any tips?

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