Most of the recipes I found were American. Apparently they are particularly favoured by the Jewish community as Passover treats, because they don't contain a raising agent or any of the forbidden grains - essentially they are a type of enriched meringue. I'm not sure which came first - these ones or the French ones which are on their way out of being in vogue.
There are four reasons I love this recipe.
1. It's really easy.
2. It only needs 3 ingredients.
3. It's the ultimate go-to for friends with allergies or intolerances: gluten free, dairy free, and low fat.
4. The low fat bit means you can eat twice as many. Super.
2 eggs, separated.
125g caster sugar
250g dessicated coconut
(Optional - 1tsp vanilla extract)
Separate the eggs - you only need the whites. You could use the eggs for custard or mayonnaise.
Whisk the whites in a large bowl, adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until they form "stiff peaks" (or, until they go from see-through to white and firm).
Whisk in the coconut.
If you leave the mix on the side for half an hour, then the coconut will soften slightly, but you don't need to if you're impatient or tight for time.
Using two teaspoons, scoop the mixture into balls, about the size of a walnut, and pop them onto a non-stick baking tray. I found that my metal one, lined with parchment, cooked them better than a silicone one.
Bake at 180C for 8-10 minutes, until they start to turn golden. They will still feel soft to touch when you take them out of the oven but they'll crisp up, so don't put them back or they will dry out.
Allow to cool on the tray before storing in an airtight tupperware.
These go really well with hot chocolate or coffee - if you're a fan of glacé cherries then press half a cherry into the top of each ball prior to baking. Alternatively, drizzling them with melted chocolate while they are cooling is always an excellent idea.