Coconut Nests

3 large egg whites
1-14oz bag sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg (6 oz) chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 jar maraschino cherries

  1. Preheat oven to 325.

  2. Grease 24 mini muffin pan cups.

  3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

  4. Beating at high speed, gradually sprinkling sugar until whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks.

  5. Beat in vanilla

  6. Stir in coconut.

  7. Spoon coconut mixture by heaping tablespoons into prepared muffin pan cups. With the end of a wooden spoon handle or with finger, form an indentation in the center of each cup, pressing coconut mixture up sides of cups. Place a cherry in the center of each nest.

  8. Bake 20 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and spread or pipe melted chocolate chips over the top of each nest covering the cherries completely.

  10. Transfer pan to wire rack and let stand 5 minutes to cool slightly.

  11. With a fork carefully lift each nest from cup and transfer to rack to cool completely.

  12. Store in tightly covered container with waxed paper between layers.

  13. Coconut Nests will store in freezer for up to 3 months. (The texture seems to improve a bit with freezing!)