Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300°F (150°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Separate the eggs while they are cold; reserve the yolks for another use. Put the egg whites in a bowl. Fill another, larger bowl about halfway with very hot water. Place the bowl with the egg whites in the hot water and swirl the whites with a whisk to warm them for a few minutes (warm egg whites are more stable and will whip higher than cold egg whites). Meanwhile, finely chop the almonds.
Remove the egg whites from the bowl of hot water, and add the cream of tartar and salt. Using a mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and add the sugar a little at a time, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. Beat in the vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chopped almonds. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of the meringue onto the prepared pans, spacing them apart. You can also pipe the meringues onto the baking sheet using a pastry bag and a wide plain tip.
Bake until the meringues are lightly colored and puffed, about 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Let the meringues dry out slightly and cool completely, about 2 hours, before popping them into your mouth.
This meringues recipe is excerpted with permission from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616282002/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1616282002&linkCode=as2&tag=craftfocom-20">"Home Baked Comfort (Williams-Sonoma): Featuring Mouthwatering Recipes and Tales of the Sweet Life with Favorites from Bakers Across the Country"</a> by Kim Laidlaw and published by Weldon Owen.