Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Taste Tip: For extra flavor, add lightly roasted, roughly chopped macadamia nuts (about ¾ cup) into the final coconut mixture, dropping cookies into mounds rather than forming pyramids. Unsweetened, desiccated (dried) flaked coconut can be purchased at most natural foods co-ops.

1 cup coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups unsweetened, shredded, desiccated (dried) coconut (see Taste Tip)
3 cups sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
14 ounces semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, sugar, corn syrup, egg whites, vanilla extract and salt. In a large bowl, combine unsweetened and sweetened coconut, breaking apart any lumps. Pour coconut milk mixture into coconut and mix until coconut is evenly moistened. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Form cookies into four-sided haystacks, moistening fingers with water if necessary. Bake until light-golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 3 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a double boiler over gently simmer water, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding haystack by pointed top, carefully dip bottom of cookie into chocolate, covering up to one-third of sides of cookie. Use chopsticks or a fork to remove cookie, draining off excess chocolate. Set on a wire rack over wax paper and refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.

2003 Finalist: Ron Traxinger of St. Louis Park, Minnesota