March 1, 1995 in Food

Sweet Coconut Treats Welcome Spring

Laura Carnie Correspondent
 

“How about publishing some coconut recipes - candy, cookies, etc. Lots of them! … Constant Reader.”

To reward Constant Reader and to celebrate the arrival of March (yes, it’s almost spring), this column features a sampling of sweet coconut treats. Enjoy!

Saucepan Coconut Bars

1 cup butter and/or margarine

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla or almond flavoring

3 1/2 cups oatmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shredded coconut

Melt butter, corn syrup and brown sugar together in a large saucepan. Add vanilla, oatmeal, baking powder, salt and coconut; mix well.

Coat a jelly roll pan with non-stick spray. Pat cookie mixture onto prepared pan. A fork dipped in cold water helps spread the dough into an even -inch thick layer. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into squares while warm.

Potato-Coconut Kisses

2/3 cup hot, mashed (lump-free) potatoes

2 teaspoons melted butter or margarine

1 pound powdered sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons cocoa or 1 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

Few grains salt

1/2 pound moist, grated coconut

Place mashed potatoes in mixing bowl; beat in melted butter. Add sugar and beat until thoroughly blended. Add cocoa or melted chocolate and beat to blend. Mix in vanilla, salt and coconut.

Drop by teaspoons on waxed paper-lined tray, forming even mounds. Refrigerate to cool and harden. Store in tightly covered containers.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

1 square unsweetened baking chocolate

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the chocolate in double boiler over simmering water or in microwave oven. Add the sweetened condensed milk; stir to blend. Stir in the coconut and vanilla. Drop by tablespoonfuls (half-dollar size) onto a baking sheet that has been thoroughly coated with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid scorching. Remove immediately from baking sheet.

Yield: 2 dozen.

Coconut Rum Balls

4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

1 cups (about) flaked coconut

1 cup finely chopped nuts

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup rum (or cup water and 1 teaspoon rum extract)

Powdered sugar

Combine crumbs, coconut and nuts in bowl. Stir in condensed milk and rum, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar to coat.

Cover and store in refrigerator. (For best flavor, store balls at least 24 hours. Candies may be stored for several weeks.) Roll again in sugar just before serving.

Yield: 6 dozen

Cook’s Note: Recipe may be halved, using cup sweetened condensed milk.

Coconut Pudding

Known as Haupia in Hawaii, this is a very firm pudding. Prepare ahead to allow time for chilling. It is especially good made with fresh coconut milk. When fresh coconut is not available, substitute canned coconut milk often found near pudding mixes in supermarkets.

6 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups coconut milk (see recipe)

1 cup milk

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt; blend well. Gradually stir in 1 cup coconut milk to form a smooth paste; set aside.

Combine the milk and remaining cup of coconut milk in saucepan and cook slowly until hot. Do not boil. Add the cornstarch paste, cooking and stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Pour into an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Cool, then chill.

When ready to serve, cut into two or three inch cubes. For added appeal, serve on a bed of coconut, and/or with chocolate, caramel or raspberry sauce.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings.

Fresh Coconut Milk

2 cups milk

1 cup boiling water

6 cups grated fresh coconut (about 2 coconuts)

Combine milk and water; bring to a boil. Pour over grated coconut; let stand for hour. Strain through double thickness of cheesecloth or a jelly bag, pressing out all liquid. Cover and store in refrigerator up to three days. Freeze for longer storage.

Cook’s note: For fresh grated coconut, select a coconut that is heavy with liquid. (It will slosh when the coconut is shaken.) Using a nail, ice pick or screwdriver, pierce two holes at one end of the coconut and drain. Reserve liquid, if desired. Leftover coconut may be frozen in this liquid or the liquid may be used in cooking.

Place the whole, drained coconut on a baking pan in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or just until shell begins to crack. Let cool briefly, then place on a sturdy surface and hit along the crack with a hammer to break into pieces. Using a screwdriver or sturdy round-ended knife, pry white coconut flesh from the shell. Pare off brown skin with a small knife or vegetable peeler.

Grate by hand or electric grater or in a blender or food processor. To grate with a blender or processor, cut into -inch cubes or strips and grate batches using milk and/or water (about 1 cup liquid for each cup of coconut pieces).

MEMO: Looking for a recipe? Have a food question? Laura Carnie, a certified home economist and food consultant in Coeur d’Alene, would like to hear from you. Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - The Seasonal Cook

Looking for a recipe? Have a food question? Laura Carnie, a certified home economist and food consultant in Coeur d’Alene, would like to hear from you. Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - The Seasonal Cook

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