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Coconut Clouds (rev)

I've always been fond of coconut macaroon snowballs. We bought some at the Williamsburg farmers' market awhile back but I couldn't finish a whole one. It was just too sweet and heavy. Maybe they were made with sweetened coconut (since the unsweetened variety is hard to find). Whatever. . .

So here we have something lighter made with Italian meringue:

Coconut Clouds (rev 3)

Yield:  about 30 cookies
See Abbreviations, if needed

1.25 C sugar
3/4 C water
3 egg whites (ambient)
7 oz unsweetened finely grated coconut (or flakes, chopped)
1 oz unsweetened coconut flakes (for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prep sheet pans with super parchment paper or silicone pads
2. Place sugar and water in sauce pan, heat slowly and stir gently until sugar is dissolved
3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form
4. Once the eggs whites are ready (and not before), quickly turn up the heat on the sugar water to high and bring it as high as it will get, about 225°F.
5. Set the mixer to high rotation and then carefully pour in the hot sugar mix (don't splash it onto the rotating whisk)
6. Continue to whisk at high speed until the meringue has cooled to near-ambient
7. Slow the mixer and pour in the coconut and mix briefly
8. Use a kitchen table spoon and tap-drop batter onto the sheet pan about 2 inches apart. Insert a few flakes of coconut into the top of each cookie for texture and color
9. Bake about 14 minutes (convection) (rotate once) until the cookies appear firm enough to be lifted off the pan without breaking up . . . about 16 minutes without a fan.
10. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack using a wetted spatula
Note: Thanks to Ruth Reichl and The Gourmet Cookbook for inspiration.


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