Feature Friday- Neapolitan Coconut Candy Tutorial
This past week, my mom passed out the assignments for Thanksgiving dinner. We all are required to bring certain dishes to help her feed approximately 30 family members. My sister-in-law got assigned brocolli casserole. My sister got assigned the sweet potato casserole. My mom will be doing up the turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes. I was assigned rolls. And she specified that I buy the ones that are already made that just need to be reheated.Sigh…Yep, my reputation for not being the best cook certainly precedes me. While mom, my sister and sister-in-law are all busy in their kitchens whipping up delicious family recipes for the whole clan to enjoy, I will be thawing rolls. Well, fine. So I decided to show them that I can make something good. All I need is a good recipe and a bit of patience. I will make candy! It’s unapproved for Thanksgiving dinner, but at least I made my point. Right?I located a recipe for Neapolitan Coconut Strips on Martha Stewarts website and created my own variation of it. For this project I used:12 oz. white chocolate chips1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk3 tablespoons of unsalted butter1/2 tsp. salt1 tsp. vanilla extract3 cups of shredded sweetened coconut2 tbsp. of chocolate chips, melted1 drop of red food coloring(2) 12 oz. packages of melting dark chocolate Begin by lining an 8″ square pan with plastic wrap, leaving a good overhang on each side. Combine the white chocolate chips, the condensed milk, butter, salt and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat.Cook it, stirring until it is smooth. Look how smooth! I must get a photo! Of course the dogs were in the way and I then had to find the proper angle, because I’m all photographer-like and got this awesome photo before I realized that I had left the burner on. I stirred the chocolate one more time to discover that the entire bottom was burnt to the pan. Sigh.Dump that, start over. Had to send the daughter out for more white chocolate. Waited. Fixed dinner. Thought about thawing stupid buns. Then I started over. This time, I took no photos, so you don’t see me adding the coconut once it was removed from the burner. I then divided the mixture into three separate bowls.One bowl, I left alone. The second bowl, I melted about 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips in the microwave and stirred it in to create a chocolate coconut mixture. The third bowl, I added about a drop of red food coloring and mixed it up to create a pink coconut mixture. So, I got my camera out again to show you the layering. You see, first you dump the chocolate mixture into your prepared pan and spread it out in an even layer with a knife. Of course, the battery suddenly died in my camera, so I couldn’t show you that. I ran and got another stupid battery. Gently add the plain mixture over top of the chocolate one and spread it to all the edges. Then add pink mixture overtop the plain one and spread evenly. Put your pan in the refrigerator and let it sit about 2 hours.Then pull the candy out of the pan using the plastic wrap as leverage. Slice it in about 1/4″ strips and then put them back in the refrigerator. Be prepared for a few questions like, “What is that weird bacon-looking stuff in the refrigerator”? Ignore them. There is greatness ahead.Cut the strips up into 1 1/2″ long pieces. And looky here! Pretty, right? You could certainly stop here. But, I want to do the chocolate thing… So, take your melting chocolate and pour into a microwave safe cup and melt it in the microwave. Melt it in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until it is a smooth melted consistency. Then simply drop each candy in and lift it out with a fork, tapping the glass to remove the extra chocolate and place on a sheet of foil to dry. And there you have it. Neapolitan Coconut Candies. Perfect to give as gifts, and relatively easy to make! Yep, I’ll still be thawing those rolls, but maybe next year they will move me up to something a little more difficult, like opening pickle jars or slicing cheese. I can only dream….