Wanting Today, I wanted to make my new Brazillian son (aka exchange student) feel at home here in the US, so I decided to look for a recipe for something native to his home country. I was quickly drawn to a coconut dessert recipe on the internet called Cocadas. I chose a recipe with a bit of lemon zest in it, as I thought that would be yummy, plus it was translated into English, so that made it quite a bit easier for me to read, since I only know English. Although the original recipe didn’t call for egg white, the mix appeared very dry and I didn’t see how it would hold together without a binder. So, I searched some more on the internet and most recipes called for sweetened condensed milk, and some for egg whites. I had already added regular milk and I didn’t want it to be too soupy, so I opted to add one beaten egg white and see what happens. I am glad I did! These sweets turned out just right with a refreshing hint of lemon. Now that I have looked further into the matter, it seems that Cocadas are actually coconut macaroons, and the Barefoot Contessa had a You tube video on how to make them. On her video, she actually beat her egg white until stiff, and she used sweetened condensed milk, too. She also added vanilla, and I may try her recipe next, but I think I will end up sticking with the lemon zest because these are just so tasty! However, I will try scooping them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and see how that works.

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups finely grated coconut*
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
2 Tbsp. milk
1 egg white, beaten

Preheat oven to 390º F. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder. Add coconut and lemon zest; mix well. Add the milk and egg white; stir until it starts sticking together. With a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon and knife, fill muffin tins. I was able to fill 18 tins. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

*I used regular sweetened shredded coconut from the grocery store and ran it through my electric grater (Salad Shooter) to make it more fine. I used more like 2 1/2 cups, because it was more condensed once it was shredded finer.

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