Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Preheat oven to 200°. Add vanilla, cream of tartar and if desired food coloring to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form.
Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert pastry tip. Fill bag with meringue. Pipe 2-in. circles or shapes 2 in. apart onto prepared baking sheets. If desired, sprinkle with pearl sugar.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until set and dry. Turn oven off; leave meringues in oven until oven has completely cooled. Store in an airtight container.