Taste of the Caribbean: Cooking up Some Coconut Candy
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!)
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:
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.
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.
Now that you have your Coconut Candy resting safely on your cookie sheet, let them cool down before serving.