Few people can resist the call of sweet and savory chocolate. It is a common ingredient in desserts, and often just a little goes a long way in satisfying a craving.

Although many people equate pumpkin pie or traditional butter and sugar cookies with the holidays, chocolate can help add variety to the festivities.

This recipe for “Chocolate Coconut Meringues,” courtesy of EatingWell.com, produces cookies that are so light and airy, they are a perfect little treat that’s not too heavy. They’re perfect when you’ve indulged just a little too much during holiday dinner but still desire a sweet dessert.

Yields: 30 cookies

• 4 large egg whites

• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

• 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract or imitation coconut extract

• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/8 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup sugar

• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

• 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate

• 2 tablespoons trans-fat-free white chocolate chips or finely chopped white chocolate, such as Sunspire

1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 250 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

2. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, coconut, almond and vanilla extracts, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until combined. Gradually beat in sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff, shiny peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Sift cocoa over the mixture and gently fold together with a rubber spatula until combined.

4. Spoon the meringue into a gallon-size sealable bag (or pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip). Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Cut a 1/2-inch hole in one corner of the bag. Pipe the meringue into 2-inch circles, about 1 inch apart, on the prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake on the upper and lower racks for 50 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the meringues stand in the oven with the door closed until completely dry, about 1 1/2 hours.

6. Melt semisweet and white chocolate (see Tips and techniques) and drizzle or pipe onto the cooled meringues. Let stand until it sets.

Tips and techniques

To melt chocolate, place chocolate in a bowl and microwave on medium for 45 seconds. Stir; continue microwaving on medium in 20-second intervals until almost melted, stirring after each interval. Continue stirring until completely melted. Or place in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted. To decorate cookies with melted chocolate, use a pastry bag fitted with a fine writing tip to pipe the melted chocolate or dip tines of a fork in chocolate and drizzle. You can improvise a pastry bag with a small plastic bag. Add melted chocolate to the bag, cut a tiny hole in one corner and squeeze the chocolate out.