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Coconut Joy Cookies

1 7oz Package of Flaked and Sweetened Coconut
2/3 Cup White/Superfine Sugar
1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
3 Egg Whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
4 oz Chocolate Candy Coating (often called Almond Bark)
1 Jar Maraschino Cherries (halved)

Heat your oven to 325 degrees. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set the chocolate to melt over a double-boiler. Drain the jar of cherries (save the juice to make a Roy Roger) and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to dry (this keeps the center of the cookie from being gooey from excess cherry juice). Add the coconut, sugar, flour and salt to your mixer bowl and stir together. Next, stir in the egg whites and almond extract and mix until well combined. Use a tablespoon measure to scoop the dough out and roll it into a ball. Place the ball on the cookie sheet, hold the sides of the cookie gently with one hand and use a knuckle from the other hand to make a dent in the dough. The idea is to have a dent to put the cherry in but to keep the ball of dough from bursting apart. Bake for 12 minutes for a toasted golden-brown cookie bottom with just a few browned flakes on top. Cool completely on the cookie sheet or a wire rack, whichever is more convenient for you. Dunk the cookie bottoms in the melted chocolate and place upside down to dry on a sheet of waxed paper. The most I’ve ever gotten out of this recipe is about two dozen cookies. Experiment with different fillings for the center of these cookies and make them exactly how you like them.

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