Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chocolate-Covered Coconut Balls

AKA Almond Joys without the Almonds... a little Halloween treat!

Every year, my parents go to a little "barn party" out at the stables where they board their horses.  I haven't gone since high school (i.e. at least 5 years ago...), but my mom invited me to come along with them this year.

My ten-year-old sister Mia went along with us and brought two of her friends along with her.  I haven't been to a barn party in years, and I haven't been out there frequently enough to meet people, so I knew less than half the people there.

Fortunately, this worked out perfectly for Mia and her friends.

"Gina, can you put that saddle on Britches?"

"Mia, why don't you do it?  I'm sadddling up Lady."

"I never use that saddle so I don't know how to."

It would have been pointless to argue with her that I was sure she could figure it out on her own.

The bonfire ended up being a lot of fun, though, and my mom made these coconut balls (oh, and she made oreo truffles and her classic cheesy potato bake).  I thought these were SO GOOD, so I decided to make them on my own.  They make a whole batch, but they keep for a while in the freezer or fridge, so you can eat them as you see fit.  They are also perfect for sharing or for taking to a party (my mother taught us never to show up empty-handed).

One 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk
One 14-oz bag of shredded, sweetened coconut
12 - 14 oz milk chocolate chips (or chocolate of your choice)

  1. In a large bowl, mix together sweetened condensed milk and coconut.
  2. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the coconut-milk mixture onto a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet.  Freeze for 30 minutes to an hour, or until cold and solid.
  3. After about an hour, roll the coconut balls into spheres.  Freeze for at least 15 minutes, or until you are ready to dip them.
  4. Following the instructions on your chocolate, melt your chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.  I used Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips, and dumped them all in a microwavable bowl, microwaving in 30 second increments until they were melted--about two minutes total.  If microwaving  chocolate, be sure to stir in between microwave segments.
  5. To dip the coconut balls, drop the coconut ball into the bowl of chocolate.  Then, using a fork, make sure it gets thoroughly covered in chocolate, and lift it from the bowl.  Using a fork for this makes it easy to drain the excess chocolate off.
  6. Put the covered coconut ball back on the parchment.  When you have dipped all the coconut balls, refrigerate or freeze them until the chocolate is hard (about 30 minutes).  Freeze or refrigerate to store.
Optional:  If you want them to be more like Almond Joys, press an almond into the top of the chocolate as soon as you dip them, OR roll the coconut ball around the almond in step number three.

happy halloween!

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