|Vietnamese coconut candies|
1 kg (2.2 lbs) of coconut slices
1/2 kg (1.1 lbs) of sugar
About 10 fresh pandan leaves, washed well and cut into 3-4 inch lengths
Food color (optional)
1) Add the sugar to the coconut slices. Stir well and let it marinade until the sugar has melted. Best left at room temperature for about an hour.
2) Add color to the sugary slices if interested (we divided the slices and its sugary liquid in 2 pots to make white and pink). Add pandan leaves.
3) Cook under medium high heat until the liquid comes to a boil. Stir frequently. May turn heat down slightly but let the liquid simmers until somewhat dry. Decrease the heat to low and keep stirring constantly to prevent the sugar or slices from burning. Remove from heat once the coconut slices and sugar are completely dried. Bag the slices once they are cooled.
|marinading coconut slices in sugar|
|my cousin Sieu Hui (Tu Hue) happily|
stirring the pots using both hands
|keep stirring, the slices still glossy and moist looking|
|getting there, keep stirring|
|the slices appear very dry = done|
|here is beautiful freshly|
made coconut candies
|these are too time consuming to make or else|
we could sell them at her restaurant
*Once the sugar has melted you can taste and check to see if the sweetness is according to your liking.
*We added just a little bit of color (about 1/8 teaspoon) to 1/2 of the batch. The food coloring that we used, red Wilton Icing Color. After mixing the color in everything has a light pink color. However, after cooking down the liquid the slices became a pretty brighter pink. The white is the natural color of the coconut.
*The whole process of cooking the candies may take up to 40-60 minutes. Once the liquid has absorbed and evaporated remember to turn the heat to low to keep the coconut slices from burning or turning yellow. Initially you do not have to be as quick. Once the candies start to get dry and you have turn down the heat you must be very quick and constantly stir them until they are completely dried. We used chopsticks to stir.
*These coconuts are not too young or too old. Avoid buying any coconuts that are dried and brown since the meat will be too tough. These old coconuts are usually good for extracting for the milk. Honestly I am not sure where you can buy these type of coconuts in the United States...unless you grow your own or know someone who grow them.
*You can extract pandan leaves for the green color if interested instead of using fruit coloring. You may purchase pandan leaves in the freezer section of some Asian markets.
*I prefer to leave the dried pandan leaves in the finished product for interest. Some people remove them after the candies are done.