My favorite meringue is still slightly treacly and chewy in the middle, which is why I prefer homemade to boxed. Really, they're so easy to make (despite their reputation) that it makes no sense to buy them. They're a nice fancy addition to holiday cookie assortments, and because they're gluten, soy, and dairy-free, they can be eaten by most non-vegans.
This recipe is for meringues with just a hint of chocolate, but you can easily make plain ones by eliminating the cocoa powder and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Adding 1/8 teaspoon of flavored extract (vanilla, orange, mint, etc.) will make that flavor cookies, but try it first with stronger flavors to make sure it doesn't wind up overwhelming.
4 large egg whites
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit
Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper, butter the cookie sheets and dust with white rice flour.
In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites on low until frothy, then on high until soft peaks form. Continue to mix on high, adding dry ingredients one tablespoon at a time and mixing in well before adding the next tablespoon. When the mixture is able to form and hold stiff peaks, drop it in ping-pong ball size spoonfuls onto the parchment paper (or if you want to get fancy, use a pastry bag and toothed tip to make neat blobs). Bake for 1 hour. Let rest for 1 hour. Store in fridge for up to one week (they never last more than a day here.)