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I am now realizing that I should have made this cookbook my Cookbook of the Month for November!! I really want to make some dipped fondants, but reading through the recipes, I have learned that most of them are best once they’ve set for a week or longer. So needless to say, they aren’t going to be done by Christmas!! I have run out of time to make gifts for everyone anyway, so maybe I will be making New Year’s chocolates. Who says that plates of chocolates are just for Christmas, anyway?

I tried 3 recipes from the cookbook again. This time, I chose Cashew Crunch, Caramels (again, but different recipe) and Chewy Coconut Centers.

Cashew Crunch | www.tasteandtellblog.com

The Cashew Crunch is described as a mix between a toffee and a brittle. I think that description is right on. I thought I had enough cashews at home – the recipe called for one cup – but I was short by about 1/4 cup. It still turned out well and tastes wonderful!! I learned my lesson from the last batch of candy about my thermometer, so I knew to under-cook it. But a funny thing happened – I think I am destined to have to get a new thermometer. After I made this Cashew Crunch, I was cleaning the thermometer to use for the caramels, and when I went to dry the thermometer off, all of the numbers wiped off with my dishtowel. I’m not quite sure why that happened, but now I will have to buy a thermometer that is hopefully more accurate!!

Basic Caramels | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Next up was a new batch of caramels. If you remember from the last batch, I used the “speedy” 30-minute recipe. This time around, I went with a basic caramel recipe. Since I couldn’t really read my thermometer, I had to go off of instinct – paying attention to the color and the smell of the caramel. And I have to admit – these are the best caramels that I have ever made. I’m sure the recipe is very similar to many recipes out there, but I think I ate about 10 of these for breakfast the morning after I made them while I was cutting and wrapping them. They are just that good!

Chewy Coconut Centers | www.tasteandtellblog.com

The last of this round were what I originally thought I was making when I made the Shaggy Dogs. I didn’t end up making these the first time, but knew that I still wanted to make them – and I’m SO glad that I did! These taste so much like an Almond Joy – but better!! I didn’t expect them to taste the way they do because they are made with marshmallows, but you don’t taste the marshmallow. I ate the last one this morning – 3 days after they were originally made – and I could vaguely taste the marshmallow, but maybe it’s just because I knew it was there. I had to improvise a bit on this – the recipe calls for 12 large marshmallows, but I only had mini marshmallows. I did a quick search online and found a website that said there are 13 mini marshmallows to every big marshmallow. I went with this, but I think it was off. The mixture was still quite runny, even after refrigerating it for about an hour. I ended up adding quite a bit of extra coconut so that I would be able to form them, and even then, they were very sticky and hard to form. I somehow made them work, placed a roasted almond on top and dipped the bottoms in milk chocolate. I would highly recommend the dipping part. They were still quite sticky, and would have been hard to handle and plate if they wouldn’t have been dipped. There is another recipe in this book that says they “remind you of the store- bought candy bar” but these really did remind me of Almond Joys. If you prefer, you can leave the almond off, dip them in dark chocolate, and call them homemade Mounds. Either way, I would recommend them!!

Chewy Coconut Centers
from Candymaking

1/2 cup light corn syrup
12 large marshmallows
1 3/4 cups coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Tempered dipping chocolate

Line a 15″x10″ jelly roll pan with waxed paper, set aside. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine corn syrup and marshmallows. Place over medium heat and stir until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in coconut, vanilla and almond extract. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until mixture is cool enough to handle.

Butter hands. Shape mixture into small walnut-sized balls. Place on baking sheet, flattening each ball slightly. When cool, dip partially or completely in chocolate.

Makes about 50 centers (I only got about half this – although this is what the recipe says!!)

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17 Responses to Chewy Coconut Centers {Cookbook of the Month Recipe}

  1. April says:

    They all look wonderful! I think that I will have to try the caramels. Which recipe did you use?

  2. Deborah says:

    April, I used Shirley’s Wonderful Caramels (pg 63). I just did a half batch, and it still made a ton of caramels!

  3. The Caked Crusader says:

    you have made me salivate! I love coconut

  4. Cheryl says:

    That is like a picture perfect caramel.

    And the two with the coconut. My husband would eat them all before I could take a picture

  5. Mary says:

    Oh you are so brave to make candy. I wouldn’t have any left to give out. The caramels look amazing and I LOVE coconut!

  6. Aamena says:

    the caramel looks so good.. and coconut and chocolate, it reminds me of Bounty! too bad you dont get marshmallows here…

  7. glamah16 says:

    How weird about the thermometer! The cashew crunch sounds good with that tofee.Is it similar to peanut brittle? That was a disaster for me once.

  8. Miss Scarlett says:

    Oh my goodness! Coconut Centers were one of my grandmother’s annual Christmas treats. She made them every year but I haven’t gotten the recipe yet. I’m gonna try these and see if they are close. They certainly look like hers! Although she just dipped hers in chocolate – no nut on top. I heart Almond Joys and Mounds so either way – I think I’ll like them:)

  9. Kevin says:

    The chewy coconut centers sounds so good! bookmarked

  10. Sylvia says:

    They all looks delicious, but I am absolutly mad about caramels..Yummy

  11. Anj says:

    Those Chewy Coconut Centers look so festive. I think I might have to try this one for sure.

  12. Emiline says:

    All of the candy looks delicious.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  13. my food affair says:

    Hi Deborah, I just made these caramels, they are absolutely wonderful!!! I had a hard time cutting them into perfect cubes like yours…maybe i didn’t boil the mixture enough?! -kk

  14. dipped strawberries says:

    They all look so adorable !

  15. Shannon says:

    I have tried the coconut chews before, and they are fantastic! I was wondering if you could e-mail me the entire recipe? Thanks

    • Deborah says:

      @Shannon, all of my cookbooks are in storage right now, or I’d totally email you the recipe. I’ll send it over as soon as they are out of storage – hopefully sometime in January. Sorry I don’t have it right now!

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