Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2Spread the almonds onto a rimmed baknig sheet and toast until they are slightly darkened, 4 to 7 minutes; keep an eye on the almonds as they toast so they don't burn. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then chop.
Step 3Prepare a double boiler: Fill a medium-sized pot with about two inches of water, and bring to a simmer over high heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and salt. Rest the bowl over the pot of simmering water and continue whisking until the mixture is slightly hot to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes (the mixture will thin as it warms). Turn off the stove and remove the bowl from heat.
Step 4Place the egg mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or leave in the large bowl and, using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes. Fold in the vanilla extract and chopped almonds by hand, making sure the almonds are completely covered in the meringue mixture.
Step 5Scoop and drop the meringues onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet (a generous two tablespoons). Using a spoon, make sure each cookie is tall and pointed at the top.
Step 6Place a separate baking sheet or roasting pan on the lowest rack of the oven (this will keep the bottom of the meringues from burning). Place the cookies on a higher rack and bake with the oven door slightly ajar (crack the door open using the back of a wooden spoon or other heatproof utensil), until the cookies are dry to the touch and puffed up, about 15 minutes.
Step 7While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate chips: Place the chips and oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat, stirring every 15 seconds or so, until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth (the chips can also be melted with the oil by stirring in a small bowl set over a small pan of simmering water). Drizzle the melted chocolate over the meringue cookies (if the chocolate is too thick, stir in additional oil to thin). Garnish each cookie with a sprinkling of sea salt.