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.