3 to 3-1/2 dozen candies
Many candy recipes tend to be complex, and I know people shy away
from making them if they don't own a candy thermometer. By contrast,
the centers for these aren't even cooked; the only "cooking"
involves melting the butter and corn syrup. Once made, the mixture
for the centers must chill for at least several hours (overnight
is fine, too).
type of chocolate in the coating can be adjusted to suit your preference.
If you'd prefer an all-milk or all-dark coating, you can adjust
the recipe accordingly. Whatever you use, make sure it is of good
quality and very finely chopped. If you use milk chocolate, be aware
that it can be stubborn about melting (even good-quality milk chocolate).
If small lumps of milk chocolate remain in your coating mixture,
simply turn it into the workbowl of a food processor fitted with
a steel blade, and process just until the coating is smooth.
finished candies will keep in the fridge for at least 10 days, if
stored airtight, and they freeze well (defrost in refrigerator,
still in wrappings). These make a nice holiday gift for a coconut-lover.
3-1/3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1-3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. pure almond extract
5 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, very finely chopped
3 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
1 Tbsp. solid vegetable shortening
Few tablespoons sweetened, shredded coconut
Place sweetened coconut shreds in workbowl of food processor fitted
with steel blade. Process at highest speed in 2 or 3 bursts of about
10 seconds each, just until coconut shreds are finely chopped. Chopping
the coconut shreds this way makes the centers easier to work with
(and the bonbons easier to eat). Place coconut in medium heatproof
sifted confectioners' sugar and nonfat dry milk powder in small
bowl. With spoon, mix well. Set aside.
1 quart pot, combine butter, water, and corn syrup. Place over low
heat; stir often until butter melts. Remove from heat. Gradually,
in 3 or 4 additions, add confectioners' sugar mixture, stirring
in well. Add vanilla and almond extract with last addition. Mixture
may appear to have small lumps--OK.
mixture over coconut. With large spoon, mix very thoroughly. If
desired, transfer to smaller bowl. Chill at least 3 hours, covering
tightly when cold. During the chilling time, chop chocolate(s) for
the coating; place in small heatproof bowl and cover tightly with
form centers, line a baking sheet with a doubled length of wax paper
and place it near your sink. Using a teaspoon or 1 inch diameter
cookie scoop, form balls of the coconut mixture about 1 inch in
diameter. Roll between your palms into smooth, round balls, then
place onto wax-paper-lined baking sheet, pressing down slightly
on sides to give the balls a flat bottom. The coconut mixture will
be sticky, even after chilling, so keep your hands damp (not wet)
and re-moisten them frequently. Allow centers to stand at room temperature
while you prepare the coating.
shortening to chopped chocolates. Place bowl of chocolate over hot
water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir
frequently until most of chocolate has melted. Remove from heat
and hot water; dry bowl bottom and sides well. Stir chocolate mixture
until melted and smooth. Allow to cool until just slightly warm,
stirring occasionally. While chocolate cools, line a baking sheet
with foil, shiny side up, or wax paper. When chocolate is just slightly
warm, turn into a small heatproof bowl; ideally, the bowl will be
on the narrow and deep side rather than flat and shallow.
up one or two centers and place them into the melted chocolate.
With a dinner fork (longer tines are better than shorter ones here),
scoop up one center at a time, flat bottoms on fork tines. Allow
excess chocolate coating to drip back into bowl; gently pull fork
across edge of bowl to remove excess chocolate from bottom of center.
Gently maneuver coated center onto baking sheet. Repeat with other
centers. After dipping every four centers, before coating sets,
place a small pinch of the additional coconut on top of each candy
for garnish. If you notice a large pool of melted chocolate at the
base of the candies, your chocolate is too warm or you're not scraping
off enough excess coating from the centers.
you're working with it, the chocolate will cool. If it becomes too
thick to work with easily, place the bowl of coating over hot water
on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl), and stir frequently
just until warm and melted again.
all centers have been dipped and garnished, refrigerate until coating
is set. Using a piece of paper towel, remove candies from baking
sheet and place into airtight container. Store in refrigerator for
up to 10 days.
serve, bring to room temperature, covered, before serving.
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