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Puerto Rico, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Taste of the Caribbean: Cooking up Some Coconut Candy

Taste of the Caribbean: Cooking up Some Coconut Candy
Coconut Candy I made last night/SBPR

Costumed kiddos will soon be knocking on doors all across America, and while it’s a good idea to make sure you have more than enough store-bought sweets to satiate the Halloween surge, I’m sure a few of you may also want to go the extra mile and prepare something extra special for your favorite trick or treaters. For you, we offer one of the Caribbean’s sweetest treats: Coconut Candy!

Another of the wonderfully tasty and amazingly simple dishes we learned to make in Mrs. Rivera’s Spanish class during our Elementary School years at St. Croix Country Day School, Coconut Candy offers everything your most-cherished junior ghouls and goblins will be jonesing for come next Monday. They’re super-gooey, exceptionally sweet and yummy, yummy, yummy!

Luckily, they’re also really easy to make. Even time-starved working mom’s and dad’s can carve out the few minutes it takes to make these treats.

Now, I have no idea whether or not the recipe I followed is the same as the one we learned way back when at Country Day. I do know, however, that it’s in line with traditional Puerto Rican cooking, so I’m guessing it’s pretty close to Mrs. Rivera’s teachings. (Correct me if I’m wrong, fellow CDS alumni!)

Coconut Candy Ingredients/SBPR

So, like I was saying, this recipe is real simple. All you need are the three ingredients pictured here.

There’s a bit more water pictured than is actually required (all you need is one cup). The grated coconut measures out at two cups, while you’ll also need a cup-and-a-half of brown sugar.

Let’s stop here for a few words about the coconut… You could buy frozen grated coconut, but grating it yourself is a lot more fun. (I’m sure Mrs. Rivera would prefer you do it that was as well.) How much coconut will you need to get two cups? I grated mine out of a half of one. It took about five minutes – no sweat.

Okay, to get started, drop the water and grated coconut in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. It’ll look something like this:

Getting started...

Now, once you’ve got your initial mix of coconut and water boiling, you’ll want to add the brown sugar. Mix the sweet stuff in there real good and reduce the heat to medium-low.

After about 15-20 minutes, the mix in your pot should be gooey and fairly thick. If not, keep the heat going, but be sure to check your saucepan frequently so that you don’t burn your candy.

Almost done...

Anyway, once you’ve got a gooey, fairly thick mix, start spooning it in clumps onto a baking sheet covered with wax paper. This recipe should yield you between eight and 10 pieces of Coconut Candy, depending on how large you want to make ’em.

Coconut Candy coolin' off.

Now that you have your Coconut Candy resting safely on your cookie sheet, let them cool down before serving.

¡Buen provecho!

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  • I tested them. They may look like bird’s nests, but they are a lot more yummy than a bird’s nest or even most candy available in stores. And I’m pregnant so I should know.

    • Lucy Wright

      So, you didn’t like eating bird’s nests?

  • susan

    In Barbados and thé Caribbean we calll them.sugar cakes. We also add colour to them, mint, ginger, molasses, bay leaves, we grate not shred the coconut and only take off the brown skin.if we want.an all white cake using granulated sugar.