tastily touring: a bahamian recipe coconut candy

Bahama Cuisine Coconut Candy & Coconut Cookies Food Photography

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)

parchment paper
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

Directions

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

Ingredients

1 18-ounce bag vanilla sandwich cookies
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2-3 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened

Directions

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

ApertureFNumber: f/6.3
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 450D
DateTime: 2010:12:18 18:02:20
ExposureTime: 1/10
FNumber: 63/10
ExposureProgram: 1
ISOSpeedRatings: 100
MaxApertureValue: 4875/1000
MeteringMode: 5
Flash: 16
FocalLength: 49/1

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17 comments

  • January 23, 2012 at 3:41 am //

    Wow!!! That’s a killer recipe, coconut and ginger, what a wonderful combination. Love it :)

    • January 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm //

      Thank you Ambika = )

  • January 23, 2012 at 8:46 am //

    I love the flavours in this and the candy itself is absolutely adorable :D
    Lovely recipe and I bet it would make a gorgeous cute gift (or actually, if I give it to myself ;)

    YUM!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Nutella Baking Week

    • January 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm //

      It would make for a lovely gift, what a fantastic idea! Thank you so much for commenting.

  • January 23, 2012 at 10:34 am //

    I love coconut candy so I would be in heaven and could picture the soft sand, and beautiful beaches while eating one of these :)

    • January 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm //

      That sounds perfect right now Suzanne, soft white sand, beautiful beaches…ahhhh

  • January 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm //

    This looks a lot like the mass produced raffaelo available in Germany, which I love. :) Your candies came out gorgeous! I already know this recipe would be a wnner!

    • January 24, 2012 at 8:05 am //

      YES, Raffaelo is our favorite too, they are truly a divine treat. Thank you for commenting Kiri.

  • January 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm //

    have to try these! such a great winter treat!

    • January 24, 2012 at 8:05 am //

      Thank you Michelle.

  • January 24, 2012 at 3:17 am //

    Your posts are always so informative. A pleasure to read. And I love coconut! And although coconut and ginger are common combos in curry, never thought of serving them together in a sweet. Genius! Thanks for this.

    • January 24, 2012 at 8:05 am //

      Absolutely, coconut and curry, a true favorite around here, oh please do give the recipe a try, thank you so much for commenting.

  • January 24, 2012 at 6:36 am //

    They look divine! I’ll definitely make them for tea/coffee hour with friends. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • January 24, 2012 at 8:04 am //

      Thank you so much Marie, and thank you for commenting.

    • January 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm //

      Thank you so much Christina = )

  • January 26, 2012 at 7:33 am //

    Wow! These look really great. I’m a huge fan of coconut :)