tastily touring: a bahamian recipe coconut candy
Imagine warm, soft sandy beaches, a slow, relaxing breeze blowing through the coconut palms and the soft lapping sound of the translucent aquamarine waters glistening under the sun. Then you hear, in the distance, a deep, rich voice crying out, “Coconuts!” A smiling face approaches as you open your eyes and ponder the thought of eating a fresh coconut, opened in front of you. Nothing can replace the experience of enjoying this tropical treat in its purest form as you rest in a tropical paradise. But, you can enjoy the next best thing, coconut candy (recipe below).
Coconuts are an iconic island food. We love fancy, tropical drinks in coconut shells, we think of the islands when we see or eat coconut. You will find coconuts to be readily available for consumption on any of the 30 inhabited, out of the 700 Islands OF the Bahamas. Spanish explorers introduced the coconut palms, which were originally from India, to the Islands of the Bahamas. The Coconut Palm Tree, Cocos nucifera, is one of the most popular palms in the world because of its fruits “coconuts”. The Coconut Palms may live as long as 100 years, producing fruits till 80 years of age.
Not only are the Islands of the Bahamas comprised of 700 hundred islands, but also include over 2, 400 cays (coral reefs). When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 on San Salvador, The Islands Of the Bahamas were inhabited by a subgroup of Arawak Indians. The first British settlement in The Bahamas was established in 1647 by a group of English settlers in search for religious freedom, the Company of Eleutheran Adventurers, who organized a community on what is now the island of Eleuthera. By 1783 the Islands of the Bahamas became a British colony.
Because the shipping lanes from the new world to the old were in proximity to the islands piracy thrived in the Bahamas during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. While the pirates of this time period sought out the Islands of the Bahamas as a refuge and launching point, today the Bahamas is sought out by winter weary peoples of the world. The Islands of the Bahamas have become one of the world’s foremost vacation locations.
We’ve included two recipes for this post. The coconut candy is delicious and well worth your effort. But, if you don’t have the time or you’d like a fun no bake project to do with your children try the no bake coconut cookie ball recipe. This recipe produces the most adorable little coconut balls that are dangerously delicious.
Coconut Candy Recipe (Recipe found on Bella Online, contributed by Eileen Brown)
2 cups fresh coconut, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup water
1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place a heavy medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the coconut, brown sugar, ginger, allspice and water to the saucepan.
3. Stir the mixture and continue to cook it over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture just comes to a boil.
4. If you are using a candy thermometer, now is the time to attach it the side of the saucepan. Boil the candy mixture gently, stirring it frequently, until the thermometer registers 295 degrees F. It will take about 15 minutes and the candy mixture will have thickened considerably.
5. Remove the saucepan from heat. For each piece of candy, drop about two tablespoons of the coconut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Work quickly and allow space between each piece to ensure that they set up properly.
6. Let the candies stand until they are cool and firm. Remove the coconut drops from the baking sheet and store them in an airtight container.
No Bake Coconut Balls
1 18-ounce bag vanilla sandwich cookies
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2-3 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
1. In a food processor, blend cookies until small crumbs form. Add cream cheese and coconut extract and blend until smooth, like a dough. Using a teaspoon, form into rounds, about 1 inch in size and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
2. Pour coconut onto a cutting board and roughly chop. Roll each ball into coconut, coating well on all sides. Place on prepared baking sheet and continue with remaining balls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips: USE ISO 100
Featured Photographer: Mythja
Model: Canon EOS 450D
DateTime: 2010:12:18 18:02:20