Coconut Candy: The Recipe For a Sweet Taste of Puerto Rico
Another of the wonderfully tasty and amazingly simple dishes we learned to make in Mrs. Rivera’s Spanish class during our elementary school years on St. Croix, coconut candy offers everything your most-cherished little ones crave when looking for a sweet treet. They’re super-gooey, exceptionally sweet and yummy, yummy, yummy!
Luckily, with this simple recipe they’re also really easy to make. Even time-starved working parents can carve out the few minutes it takes to make these treats. Yes, there are more complex recipes out there, but this is the quickest wat to sugary delight!
Now, I have no idea whether or not the recipe I followed is the same as the one we learned way back when at grade school. 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 coconut candy recipe. (Correct me if I’m wrong, fellow CDS alumni!)
First, A little about coconuts
Before we get started, let’s talk about coconuts. Since they’re not indiginous to our Caribbean shores, you can bet there are lots of varieties of coconut candy found all around the world. Especially in the south Pacific and India, coconut candy can be found in the sticky little paws of kids everywhere.
In parts of Vietnam, it’s called kẹo dừa. In Mexico they stuff coconut candy into limes and call it limones rellenos de cocada. Another variation in East Africa is called kashata.
And the United States being the United States, you can find a chocolate covered indutrial version all over the country. Never knew Mounds bars had such an international heritage, did you?
Coconut Candy Recipe
So, like I was saying, this recipe is real simple. All you need are the three ingredients pictured here.
- 2 Cups Grated Coconut
- 1.5 Cups Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
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, pour the ater into a saucepan. Then put the coconut in and bring it all 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 minutes or 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.