I was given a plateful of these candies when I moved into a new neighborhood and immediately felt welcomed. These are best described as homemade Mounds. They're creamier and more coconutty than the PeterPaul version, and they are a cost-effective OMG! addition to Christmas gift plates. The recipe was given to me 25 years ago by my friend Drema, a native of Alabama; it has a "cheater" coating, calling for the addition of paraffin (found in the canning/preserving section of grocery stores) to stabilize the chocolate because, as Drema relates, without air conditioning in Alabama, you'd be the one to get tempered, not the chocolate. They're a companion to the homemade Reese's cups (Buckeyes with Rice Krispies added, shaped in paper cupcake liners instead of balls) I make for the winter holidays. I also make homemade PayDay bars (Marshmallow Fluff fudge recipe using Reese's baking chips; the cooled fudge is rolled into 1" ropes, which are pressed into salted peanuts). Now, if I could only perfect my nougat, and if I could figure out how to dip that caramel- and peanut-topped nougat into milk chocolate for homemade Snickers, family and friends would love me even more. —betteirene
shredded coconut (1 bag, about 5 cups)
(1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
can sweetened condensed milk
of one bar of paraffin
semisweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, combine coconut and powdered sugar. Pour butter and condensed milk over, and stir until very well combined. Roll tablespoon-sized balls into cylinders about 1" long; set on a sheet of waxed paper.
Allow the paraffin to melt in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. (If you don't have a double boiler, use a small sauepan set into a small skillet filled halfway with water. To prevent scorching, don't heat chocolate over direct heat.) Add semisweet and milk chocolates, allow to melt, and stir gently but thoroughly.
Remove chocolate from heat. Using a serving fork or a plastic fork with the two middle tines snapped off, dip coconut candies into chocolate and place on waxed paper until cool. Store at room temperature in covered containers, separating layers with sheets of waxed paper or parchment for up to three weeks, as if they'll last that long.