Coconut Snowflakes

The weather is warming up, spring is finally in the air and I find myself thinking of sandy beaches, palm trees and beach towels. Well, not quite. But the change in weather did conjure images of cooling and hydrating foods, and coconut happens to be one of them. Maybe that’s why these ended up on the coffee table the other day?

Coconuts also remind me of one of those curious little Zen parables that have been tossed around the Zen table for centuries: here we are stuck with our monkey-mind, grasping at one thing, pulling or pushing at another. Never at rest. This monkey-mind of ours suddenly spots a candy inside an empty coconut shell and can’t resist putting a hand through the hole hoping to pull out a sweet reward. Only to get stuck for the trouble.

There is one simple way to free ourselves. Open our clenched fist and let go. But do we do it? Probably not. In south-east Asia, many monkeys have fallen into the same trap and literally gotten themselves caught by hunters this way!

These little wonders will certainly tease our sweet-tooth monkey-mind. And Coconut Snowflakes are even more “coconutty” than their macaroon counter-parts because they use coconut milk and not condensed milk (which happens to make them perfect for both gluten and dairy-free diets). Easy to put together, these bake long and slow, so watch them carefully as they can burn if left unattended! Let your nose be your guide.


Coconut Snowflakes
 Ingredients

133 ml (½ cup) coconut milk (about ⅓ of a can)
1 large egg white
75 g (⅓ cup)  sugar.
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
220 g (2½ cups) unsweetened dessicated coconut

Method
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 ºC / 325 ºF.
  • Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. (Reserve and refrigerate the yolk for another use, like scrambled eggs.)
  • Combine the coconut milk, egg white, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk until frothy and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir in the dessicated coconut.
  • Using an ice-cream scoop, drop the batter into small mounds evenly spaced on the baking sheet, pulling in any mixture that falls away back into the mound. Alternatively, wet your hands and shape a spoonful of the mixture between your palms into a rough ball, then place on the sheet evenly spaced.
  • Bake until the peaks and edges are lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, slide the paper and the cakes together onto a work surface and allow them to cool a little before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

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