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Coconut Meringues + Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is the International Women’s Day, a holiday that is celebrated widely in Azerbaijan just as in many other parts of the world. I would like to congratulate all the women on this occasion and wish them all the best. As a dedication to them, here’s the recipe for my favorite meringue with coconut. Light as a feather, these will melt in your mouth. Enjoy!

Coconut Meringues
Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2007

Note: While toasting the coconut enhances its flavor, you can omit this step if you wish too – the meringues will taste great with regular sweetened coconut flakes.

Makes 31 meringues

1/2  cup  flaked sweetened coconut
3  large egg whites
dash of salt
1/2  cup  sugar
1/4  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/8  teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1  tablespoon  unsweetened cocoa

If you are going to toast coconut flakes, follow these steps. Heat the oven to 350F. Sprinkle coconut flakes in one layer onto an ungreased baking sheet. Toast on the middle rack of the oven for 5 minutes, watching closely and taking care not to overtoast. The coconut should turn light brown. You may want to stir the flakes a few times with a spatula so that the coconut does not burn and toast evenly. Remove from the oven. Transfer onto a plate and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, bring the oven temperature down to to 250°.

Combine the egg whites and salt in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form.

Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Add extracts and beat just until blended. Do not overbeat. Gently fold in coconut.

Drop by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto 2 baking sheets covered with parchment paper.

Bake at 250° for 1 hour until very lightly browned and almost crisp, switching baking sheets and rotating front to back halfway through baking time. Remove from oven. Cool for 25 minutes (meringues will crisp as they cool). Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon cocoa.