These meringues are light, airy, sweet and crisp because whipped egg whites and sugar are the base of them. A kiss of white chocolate and coating of coconut dress them up just a touch for a pretty presentation.
For the Swiss meringues:1.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Place egg whites and sugar in the large heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over (not in) a medium pot of simmering water and cook, whisking frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture is just hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.2.
With an electric mixer on high (use whisk attachment if using a stand mixer), whisk egg whites and sugar mixture until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch and vanilla and whisk until combined.3.
Place a small dab of meringue on each corner of a baking sheet, underneath a sheet of parchment, to hold it in place. Pipe or spoon meringue onto parchment, spacing about 1 inch apart.4.
Transfer meringues to oven and immediately lower the temperature to 200°F. Bake until firm but still pliable, about 30 minutes. Turn off oven and allow meringues to continue drying 2 hours and up to overnight. (Meringues can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place up to 2 weeks.) Prepare a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco #806).
For the white-chocolate kisses:
Prepare Swiss meringue through step 2, adding 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (instead of 2 teaspoons) and seeds from 1 vanilla bean to the egg whites and sugar mixture when adding cornstarch. Prepare sheet as in step 3. Transfer mixture to prepared piping bag. Pipe 1-inch-diameter kisses, spacing about 1 inch apart, on baking sheets. Bake as directed in step 4.
When cool, dip bottom of each meringue in white chocolate followed by the coconut. Transfer to a wire rack. Allow to set at room temperature, about 30 minutes.