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Family Love & a Recipe for Chocolate Coconut Meringue Cookies

 

Chocolate Coconut Meringue Cookies - Stephanie Arsenault - Global Dish

We had a big family barbecue over the weekend. It was lovely because the whole family was there; well, everyone who lives around here and not in another part of the country.

We grilled up some ribs and burgers, feasted on salads, roasted marshmallows over the fire {and turned them into s’mores, of course}, and finished up the night by shucking oysters in the garage.

See, we’re a pretty close-knit family. I love these people more than anything. More than popcorn, more than ice cream, more than sunshine and beaches, and even more than that feeling I get in my belly when I’m standing on top of a mountain. They’re a pretty great crew. Every one of ‘em has a giant heart and a hell of a sense of humour – the only two things that really matter, in my opinion.

Chocolate Coconut Meringue Cookies - Stephanie Arsenault - Global Dish

It’s hard to get everyone together at once, though, don’t you find? I mean, with everyone’s busy lives {kids, jobs!}, it’s tough to find time to get everybody in one place – and that’s why it’s so special that we were able to do it.

Actually, it was really special because my brother is getting brain surgery pretty soon, and I think that everyone just needed that extra bit of cheer – that closeness, that support, that true feeling of family. Also, I’m pretty sure that we were all lacking in the marshmallow in our hair, grass-stains on our clothes, and slurping of raw oysters department.

Alas, family barbecues like this one {a gathering of the best people ever} require some seriously delicious food. I made a couple different salads, some bread and bruschetta, a cherry cheesecake pavlova, peanut butter monster cookies {for the little ones}, and, my favourite dessert of the evening, these Chocolate Coconut Meringue Cookies.

They’re light and crunchy, and packed with shredded coconut. Plus, they keep for a couple of weeks when stored in an airtight container, so they’re the perfect make-ahead dessert. If you really wanted to make them decadent, you could spoon some softened ice cream between two, and then freeze them for a sweet take on an ice cream sandwich. Me, well, I just like to eat them straight up – and often.

Family BBQ - Stephanie Arsenault - Global Dish
Just a quick side note: September is AVM and Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month {the condition my brother is getting surgery for}, so take some time to read up on this little-known affliction, and then set aside some time to spend with your family {barbecues are optional, hugs are mandatory}.

Chocolate Coconut Meringue Cookies
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 24

Ingredients:
½ cup icing {powdered} sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 ¼ cup shredded, sweetened coconut, divided

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, sift together the icing sugar, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, and salt.

3. Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, leaving a few seconds between additions. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on, add the cocoa mixture, one tablespoon at a time, again leaving a few seconds between additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat on high until stiff, glossy peaks form. Add the vanilla and vinegar and mix just until incorporated.

4. Fold in 1 cup of the coconut and then spoon the mixture on the parchment-lined sheets at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup coconut on top of the meringues, and then place both baking sheets in the preheated oven {on the upper-third and centre racks}. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the sheets, and then bake for another 15 minutes. Turn the oven off, and let the meringues cool on the sheets in the oven with the door closed for at least 1-½ hours.

5. Carefully remove the meringues from the baking sheets and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

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