Vanilla Almonds and Coconut Candies

March 22, 2011

Spring’s here!  Which leads to the obvious question of: Is it too early to start thinking of holiday treats?  I understand that the weather is getting warmer and that we have all been craving this time of year, but I recently made two yummy things that epitomizes holiday food gifts: small, portable, easy to make, delicious and holiday-flavorly.  Yes, that’s a word.

The genius, just-thought-of thing about holiday treats is that they also double as picnic foods!  Try them now, make them again in December and you have yourself a win/win.  The almonds are these sweet salty, crunchy goodness that smell amazing like those sold on the street.  No, really.  A-mazing.  And these coconut candies were so good that my mom actually split all of them in half and had them once a day just to make sure that they last longer.  And if that doesn’t convince you to make these treats, then you’re simply a Grinch.  So with that, I wish you and yours a very happy spring!

Vanilla Almonds (adapted from Kelsey’s Essentials)

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 5/8 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Beat the egg white with the vanilla extract.  Add the almonds to the egg white mixture and stir to coat.  In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix into the almonds.  Spread the almonds in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and cool completely on wax paper.  Break into clusters and store.

Coconut Candies (adapted from NY Times)

  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1.5 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut

In a medium-size heavy saucepan, combine condensed milk, coconut milk, butter, honey, and 1/2 cup shredded coconut.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and whisk constantly until fudge-like, 15-20  minutes.  When mixture is ready, it will pull together.  Pour mixture into a bowl and let cool to room temperature; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.  Scoop out teaspoonfuls of the mixture and use your hands to roll into balls, about 3/4-inch in diameter. Set aside on a baking sheet.   Place remaining 1 cup coconut in a wide bowl.  Roll 4 to 6 candies at a time in remaining coconut, covering surface completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, or refrigerate for up to 1 month.  Serve chilled.

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