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Combine the sugar, golden syrup, vanilla bean and seeds, salt and 1 1/4 cups water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
Combine the coconut and syrup mixture in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. Add the egg whites and cream cheese and mix until fully incorporated. Chill the dough until it is quite firm and no longer sticky, about 6 hours.
Scoop 1-ounce balls onto a sheet tray lined with parchment. Bake until dark golden brown with no visible white coconut, about 20 minutes.