Saturday, December 04, 2010

Coconut Jello Fruits: I Hope My Mother Doesn't Hate Me

My mother is the queen of the Christmas cookie tray. I'm sure your mom did a good job, but my mother's goodie tray caused normally well-mannered adults scrambling for her assortment of buckeyes, fudge and cookies. Every Christmas, Mom would magically pull out of nowhere a couple dozen different tupperware containers, full of the good stuff. And all of the recipes were a carefully guarded secret. Er, well, they were.

The first time I dropped out of school (yeah, there really was a "first time"), I was unavoidably at home, in the way; and Mom had no way to hide the magic spells she used to produce piles of confections. (She really could give Honeyduke's  a run for their wands).  I was just getting into cooking and baking at this point so Mom took pity on me and walked me through some of her specialties.

I'll never forget that Christmas.

And I hope she understands that as I share this recipe with you, it's with great fondness and respect....I also know that even if everyone started making these, she still has so many tricks to keep the masses raving.

I'm going to give you the smaller version of coconut fruits. If you need more than 3 dozen of them, feel free to double it.

You will need:

10.5 oz of flaked coconut (that's 3/4 of a 14 oz bag)
1/2  of a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 3 oz. box of either lime or strawberry jello
4 oz or more of red and green sanding sugar

In a bowl, blend the coconut and jello together with a fork-this not only mixes the jello evenly but breaks down any lumps in the coconut.

Now add the sweetened condensed milk and blend with a fork again until completely mixed.

Pour the sanding sugar in a small bowl. For the strawberries, you will need a little green sugar in a second bowl for the top of the strawberry.

Now, pinch off a truffle-sized ball of the the coconut. For the strawberries, shape like a strawberry, roll in the red sanding sugar, keeping the top clear for a dab in the green. If you are making lime, just roll in a ball, then the sugar. Line on a tray to dry a bit as you go.

After a few of these, your hands will start to get gunky (*technical term). For this, keep a small bowl of cool water nearby. Use this by putting some on your fingers and the palms and the coconut won't stick. Don't use a lot or you'll get sloppy fruits (is that a band name?).

These freeze beautifully or you can chill them until you are ready to use them. They're also great for the kids to help with since there is no baking involved.


Mother B said...

I really didn't have my recipes guarded......nobody ever ask me actually.....why I was secretive was I didn't want anyone to know that I had started to do the Christmas rituals because they would have all been gone by the time Christmas got where it needed to be.....and then I wouldn't have anything to share....sound familiar???

betty crocker said...

it's ok, Mom, your mysterious ways are safe

Mother B said...

I always wanted to be mysterious....just not in the kitchen.

betty crocker said...

trust me, you have to take it where you can get it

ness said...

it's very weird to see the secret cookies on the internet.

I used to sneak down to the freezer, fill up a bowl with all kinds of mom's christmas goodies and hide it under my bed for midnight snacking.

betty crocker said...

she says they weren't secrets (*shrugs*)

ash said...

vanessa was so much more patient than i...

pretty sure i chipped a tooth trying to eat the buckeyes straight outta the freezer...

and i love me some strawberries :-) that's why i had them at my wedding!

Maura said...

Best. Treats. Ever. My mom made these too and I would sneak spoonfuls from the bowl before they were formed. I used to make them but quit when I realized I could only get 6-8 actual strawberries from a batch. My family has no willpower! I had lost my recipe and was so happy to find this...thank you so much for posting. Just in time for a holiday cookie exchange!