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1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a large cookie sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in egg whites and vanilla extract.
2. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
3. If desired, in a small saucepan melt chocolate and shortening over low heat. Dip bottoms of cookies in melted chocolate mixture.
4. Makes about 30 cookies.