June 07, 2006

Awww, Nuts!! (Coconuts!!)

OK. I am in the process of making a recipe for dinner that involves toasted coconut. Admittedly, this is my first time cooking with shredded coconut, as I only recently discovered its yumminess when I became an adult. (Hello, macaroons!) I am embarassed to say that it took me three tries to get it toasted just so...

Round One:
The directions on the recipe say to spread it out on a cookie sheet, throw it in a 350-degree oven, and toast it for 8-10 minutes, which I did. Result: coconut that was burnt on top and still raw underneath, probably due to my lack of stirring.

Round Two:
I read the toasting directions on the back of the bag, which says to leave in the oven for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. So I waltzed in and out of the kitchen every couple minutes to stir, not wanting to open up the oven too often, for fear of letting all the heat out. I quickly learned that once the coconut starts turning color, it gets toasted REAL fast. Result: pretty toasted and perhaps edible, but I'm looking for results that look like the pretty picture in the Martha magazine, which is a light golden brown.

Round Three:
This was about when Derek came home from tutoring, to find me sitting on a chair in front of the stove, oven mitt in one hand, spatula in the other, keeping track of the time so I could stir the coconut every 30 seconds. It ended up taking 4-5 minutes of stirring a couple times a minute and pretty constant opening of the oven during the last minute or so. Result: perfection! Light and crispy, without the burnt taste.

It was during this third attempt that I wondered whether or not taking pictures of this process and documenting it would turn it into an "experiment" rather than a weak attempt at doing something that should be super easy!! But now I know. So be prepared when I make a batch of mean macaroons in the near future. (Because I have to do something with the rest of this huge bag of coconut!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not by any means a 'Starbucks Regular', but whilst in Vancouver, WA this week, I experienced my first (I see many more in my future) 'Banana Coconut Frappaccino', their latest 'seasonal offering'. This drink had a generous sprinkling of fragrant toasted coconut atop an equally generous poof of their yummilicious whipped cream over just the right amount of banana flavoured coffee/ice.


I sometimes make a wonderful banana fritter dessert with a big scoop of french vanilla ice cream, drizzled with honey, then artfully sprinkle some nice toasted coconut over all......
Sounds a bit like the frap in dessert form, don't it? Bananas, sweet cream and coconut certainly make up a sure-fire winning combination....

Just trying to think of things you can do with the rest of that bag of coconut!