03 January 2016

Chocolate-covered coconut balls

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Internet gave to me: this amazing and delicious dairy-free recipe!

I know, it doesn't quite fit the meter. That's okay. These little treats completely make up for my lack of poeticalness. And ability to use real words, apparently. Moreover, they've erased all of my lingering resentment about not being able to eat Christmas cookies this year. These things are amazing.

The idea came from these dark chocolate coconut bites from Pinch of Yum, but I Kit and I didn't quite follow the recipe as written... Here's how we made ours:

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
4 tablespoons maple syrup*
5 tablespoons coconut oil
Splash of vanilla
1+ cup(s) semisweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, mush together the coconut, syrup, coconut oil and vanilla with your fingers until thoroughly combined. Take large pinches and squeeze them firmly in your hand to make balls, about an inch in diameter. Line the balls up on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for half an hour. 

Melt chocolate chips; I started out with about 3/4 of a cup, but I ate some, and then I ran out of chocolate when I was coating the coconut balls so I had to melt more, but my additional 1/2 cup of chocolate chips were about 34 degrees F when they went in the microwave so they didn't melt well, not having sat on the counter for a half hour like the first batch, so I really don't know exactly how much I used (or should have used). The size of the balls will affect the amount of chocolate you wind up needing, too, so I'd recommend starting with 1 cup but making sure you have more room-temperature chips standing by just in case.

Anyway! Melt the chocolate chips, then carefully roll the chilled coconut balls in the melted chocolate and set them back on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill the balls until the chocolate hardens, then transfer them to a wax paper-lined tin and store them in the fridge (you can use the same wax paper from the cookie sheet).

*I used Grade B maple syrup, which is stronger and darker than Grade A. It's delicious, but 4 tablespoons of it made for a very strong flavor. Next time I might try Grade A or honey instead, or an adult-only version with 2 tablespoons each of honey and rum, or of maple syrup and some liquor. Bourbon? What would you pair with maple?