A few things drew me to the Coconut Lime Clouds in the Holiday issue of the LCBO Food & Drink magazine. First, I love lime. Second, I love coconut. Third, it is a sweet that can be enjoyed by my party guests with a gluten sensitivity. Full credit to Christopher St. Onge at Food & Drink for yet another beautiful recipe.
Bring your eggs to room temperature. Don’t miss this important step. It maximizes the volume when beating the eggs.
Make sure to add the sugar gradually to the fluffy whites when beating. If you add it too fast, your eggs will ‘fall’.
Be careful not to over beat your egg whites.
Go easy on the cornstarch. Do not pack it when measuring. It helps to keep the meringue ‘dry’ but you don’t want an overwhelming cornstarch taste.
Make sure you have a solid 2 teaspoons of the lime zest. It really gives the cookie zing. The Lee Valley microplane rasp is great for getting the perfect zest.
When the cookies have completed their second hour in the oven with the heat off, continue their cooling on the kitchen counter. Leaving them to cool in the oven will mean further baking (all be it at a very low heat) and will make them more crunchy. (Though, perhaps a texture you are striving for.)
When you serve them on a red plate or a small white plate on a red tablecloth, their subtle lime green will be more pronounced on contrast.
COCONUT LIME CLOUDS
Authored by: Christopher St. Onge, Holiday issue of the LCBO Food & Drink
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
1 cup sweetened coconut
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup cornstarch, scant
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 200ºF.
In a small mixing bowl, combine coconut, lime zest and cornstarch. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until mixture holds stiff peaks. Add vanilla extract and blend briefly to combine.
Fold in coconut mixture by hand.
Drop a scant tablespoonful at a time onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, allowing 1 inch between each cookie. Bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and continue baking for an additional hour. Allow to cool completely before removing from parchment.