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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coconut Joys

Summer is in full swing!  I'm reveling in these sunny mornings, hot nights and long days.  I've moved around a lot in the past few years and I always get very confused with the rising of the sun.  My hometown of Amherst, NY is situated right in the middle of the Eastern time zone.  I grew up with summer nights lasting until nine or ten o'clock at night.  Fireworks on the fourth of July couldn't start until at least 9:30 because it was still too sunny before that time.

When I moved to Wisconsin I moved to the leading edge of the Central time zone.  This meant that the days started earlier and they ended earlier, but it also meant that television was on a whole hour earlier!  I loved having Letterman on at ten pm.  Eleven o'clock shows on the weeknights are just too early for me. 

Moving to Colorado proved to be the biggest shock.  Not only is Boulder at the leading edge of the mountain time zone, but it's also the furthest south that I've ever lived.  As winter fell away from the mountains, it would bring the sun to greet you at 4:30 in the morning.  I was so confused my first year there, wonding how on earth the sun could be up at that hour.  Crazy sun, go back to sleep.  At least the Daily show was on at nine pm.  I could get my dose of Jon Stewart and Stephen Clobert and hit the pillows by ten.  The mountain time zone is great!

I joked that I was going to try and live in every time zone before I was thirty.  Since I've moved back to the east coast with only a few months left before the big three-o, I don't think that's going to happen.  But that's okay.  I like this coast, I think I'll stay here for a while.

Coconut Joys

Happy summer!  I hope that you are enjoying your longer days and hot nights!  These chocolate bars are reminscient of Mounds bars, but are a bit denser.  I'd say they are right at the top of my favorite candies that I have made this year.  Toss on some almonds and you've got yourself an Almond Joy!

1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate for dipping

Oil an 8-inch square pan and line with plastic wrap.  Lightly spray plastic wrap with oil.

In a 2-quart pot, combine water, sugar and corn syrup and put the lid on.  Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes.  Remove the lid and clip on candy thermometer.  Cook, without stirring, until you reach 245.

In a medium bowl, measure out coconut.  Add sugar syrup to the coconut and add marshmallow fluff and vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Using greased hands, spread the coconut mixture to an even layer.

Allow to cool and set for at least 1 hour.  Remove from the pan using the plastic wrap and cut into 1-inch squares.  Dip each square in chocolate and sprinkle with coconut.
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