Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Little Coconut Kisses (Beijinho de Coco) - 3 ways to eat it, including home made "Almond Joy"



Have I told you that Brazilians spend 1/3 of their childhood in the kitchen licking the bottom of sweetened condensed milk cans? If you are an American, that is probably the same amount of time you spent eating raw cookie dough at grandma's house. Jokes aside, what I am trying to say is that sweetened condensed milk is very important in the culinary of Brazil, being the foundation of most our desserts. I will be definitely sharing a variety of them here on Blogging Foods. I hope you try some, or at least that you lick the can!


Today I bring to you "Little Coconut Kisses", made with sweetened condensed milk, of course. Now, could the name of this treat be any sweeter?  All I can say is that it deserves its name. Beijinho de Coco, how we say it in Portuguese, is sweet, buttery, and chewy, with a hint of warmth from clove. Doesn't that sound just like a coconut kiss to you?


This candy in not only easy to make, it also can be used as a base to many other treats, such as the best home made "Almond Joy" ever, and an unforgettable chocolate covered strawberry. Look at that:




Let's start with the traditional Brazilian recipe:





Little Coconut Kisses - Beijinho de Coco


For the candy:
1 can (14oz) of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of dried shredded coconut, no sugar added
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For rolling and serving:
30 whole cloves
3/4 cup shredded coconut
30 mini candy paper cups 
unsalted butter


Preparation
Put sweetened condensed milk, butter, and coconut in a heavy bottomed pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 12 minutes until the mixture thickens and starts to pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan.

Pour the candy in a lightly greased (with unsalted butter) plate. Set aside until it is completely cooled (if you need a shortcut, put the plate in the refrigerator or freezer until it cools).

Place the 3/4 cup of coconut on a shallow plate. Open all the paper cups on a serving platter. Grease your hands with unsalted butter. With the help of a small spoon, scoop a small amount of the cooled candy in the palm of your hand and roll it until you form a smooth ball. Roll it in coconut until you cover it completely. Stick 1 clove on top of the coconut kiss. Repeat until you use all the candy mixture. You can make these 1 day ahead, or you can freeze them for a few months. 
p.s.: The cloves are for decoration and extra flavor. They should not be eaten.


Visualize:



 




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Other treats you can make using the same candy mixture:


Instead of rolling the "coconut kisses" in shredded coconut and topping with a clove, try dipping some of them in melted dark chocolate. Wait for the chocolate to harden and serve. I did that today, I ate it, then I fainted.


I woke up and though about almonds. So I put one of those nuts inside my rolled coconut candy, covered it in chocolate, waited for the chocolate to set, ate it, and fainted again. It was like eating dark chocolate "Almond Joy", but much much better. This version is super creamy, chewy and crunch, but it is not incredibly sweet, which is perfect for me.



The Best Home Made Almond Joy Ever

For the candy:
1 can (14oz) of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of dried shredded coconut, no sugar added
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For forming the "Almond Joy" 
20-30 roasted almonds 
20 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Bars)

Candy:
Put sweetened condensed milk, butter, and coconut in a heavy bottomed pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 12 minutes until the mixture thickens and starts to pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan.

Pour the candy in a lightly greased (with unsalted butter) plate. Set aside until it is completely cooled (if you need a shortcut, put the plate in the refrigerator or freezer until it cools).

While the candy cools, roast the almonds: preheat the oven to 350F, place the almonds on a baking sheet and bring it into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.

When both the candy and the almonds are cool, start melting the chocolate: fill half of a small sauce pan with water. Heat the water over low heat. Place a glass bowl on top of the sauce pan. To the glass bowl add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Turn off the heat (don't move the glass bowl, we need the steam to keep the chocolate melted).

Grease your hands with unsalted butter, place about 1 tbs of the candy on the palm of your hands, flatten it, place an almond in the center, roll the candy while covering the almond. Using a fork, dip the rolled candy into the melted chocolate, lift the fork out of the chocolate, gently hit the fork on the side of the glass bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place the chocolate covered candy on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat the process until you are out of candy mixture. Allow the chocolate to harden in the fridge or at room temperature. Serve.
obs.: you can shape these whatever way you like it. If you make a rectangular shape you can add 2 or 3 almonds depending on the length.


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Don't go quite yet. You need to eat this. It will change your life.


My kids asked me to serve them strawberries for snack this afternoon. That was when I remembered about the third way of eating this coconut candy: You roll the mixture with a small strawberry inside. Cover it with melted chocolate. Allow it to cool in the fridge over parchment paper. Serve. It's simply delicious. Just the way it is made is Brazil. It's an explosion of flavors in your mouth - light, fresh, and dense all at the same time. A must try.


The ingredients and preparation are the same as for the "Almond Joy", but this time you will need fresh strawberries instead of almonds.


Take a look:


Enjoy!!

7 comments:

  1. These look absolutely amazing!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joanna! I hope you make them soon!

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  2. Doce de leite is a refinement on delicious few Americans have experienced.

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  3. I made these for a school project and everyone loved them!!!

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  4. It looks very good!!!! Cant wait to try

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  5. Thanks for your recipe and for all the photos that visualize the steps. I managed to produce wonderful Beijinhos de Coco. Obrigado!

    If you want to have a look, they are on my (German) food blog: http://barbaras-spielwiese.blogspot.de/2013/09/brasilianische-kokosballchen.html

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