Heat the oven to 325°F. Spread 1-1/2 cups of the shredded coconut on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring frequently, until some of the shreds begin to turn a light golden brown, 8 to10 minutes (you’re not so much toasting the coconut as you are drying it). Let cool. Turn off the oven.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cream of coconut, cocoa, egg whites, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Stir in the dried cherries and the “toasted” coconut. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and firm, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
About 20 minutes before you plan to bake the macaroons, heat the oven to 325°F. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment. With damp hands, shape slightly heaping tablespoons of the batter into balls. Arrange on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart (they should all fit on one sheet). Top each macaroon with a pinch of the remaining untoasted coconut. Bake in the center of the oven until the outsides are no longer sticky but the insides still feel somewhat soft when poked with a finger and the coconut topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the macaroons cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a rack to let cool completely.
Photo: Scott Phillips