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Coconut Kisses

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of JosephDeLeo.cookstr.com

You’ll love these sweet, heady kisses the way you love a favorite candy bar from your childhood. Sometimes I offer them with fruit purees for a light contrast.

To prepare this recipe, you’ll need an instant-read thermometer.

Toasting and Grinding Spices, Nuts, and Seeds 

Toasting and Grinding Spices, Nuts, and Seeds When Columbus went looking for Asia and bumped into the Americas, he was on a voyage financed by Spain with the understanding that he would find a better route to the spice markets of India—an illustration of how central spices have always been to cuisine. But spices, like other comestibles, are subject to loss of flavor if not properly prepared. Toasting whole spices, and, usually, grinding them, is the way to get maximum flavor from them. This is extremely easy to do: Gently warm the seeds or other whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat. Once they become aromatic, they are toasted. When they have cooled a bit, grind them in a spice mill (or a clean coffee grinder) or with a mortar and pestle. Toasting and grinding awakens the oils and aromatics within them. With spices like pepper and cumin, for example, which are staples of my cooking, you can prepare a batch of the toasted ground spice and keep it around for up to 2 weeks.

The same principles apply to toasting nuts: the heat maximizes their flavor. Grinding makes them the proper consistency for cooking in soups and stews.

MAKES45 TO 50 KISSES

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationvegetarian

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturechocolatey, creamy, sweet

Type of Dishdessert

Ingredients

  • 2 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound unsweetened grated coconut
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 cups unblanched almonds, toasted (see Note) and chopped

Instructions

In a large heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks. Using the back of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds and bean pod to the eggs. Add the milk and butter and stir.

Set the bowl over a large pot of simmering water (or use a double boiler); the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Whisk constantly, frequently checking the temperature of the mixture with an instant-read thermometer, until it registers 140 degrees. Remove from the heat.

Discard the vanilla bean. Add the coconut and stir until incorporated. (The mixture will look like the filling of a Mounds candy bar.) To shape the kisses, use about 1 tablespoon per morsel—I like to form them into little pyramids, but you may prefer little spheres. Set them on a platter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Spread the almonds on a plate. Put the chocolate into another large heatproof bowl and melt it over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Pour a little of the melted chocolate into a shallow cup.

With a fork (a cocktail or fondue fork works great), gently skewer each kiss and dip it into the chocolate, then quickly roll it in the chopped almonds and place on a platter. Continue this process, adding more chocolate to the cup as necessary, until all are dipped and rolled. Let the chocolate set in a cool place before serving.

(Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, these will keep for up to a week.)

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