Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine's Day Chocolates and Flowers


I meant to have this Valentine's Day post ready for you on Friday, but the day got away from me, and so did Saturday. So it wasn't until Sunday that I found time to make these delicious dark chocolate-covered coconut clusters. I bought the red sanding sugar at Williams-Sonoma and used it in place of sea salt (but the salt would add a delightful taste to these sweet gems). 

The process for making these candies is a bit tedious. The mixture is so sticky that I couldn't use my hands to shape them into balls. I ended up using a small ice cream scoop (the kind you use for cookie dough) and a spatula. When it came to coating them in chocolate, I improvised by using a small seafood fork to roll them around in the melted chocolate. But as the process continued, the chocolate began to harden a bit (you may need to microwave the chocolate a few seconds more to soften it), so I switched to using a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the coconut balls. The candy in the photo below was done with the drizzle method. Either way, they are delicious, and taste like Mounds only better!



Dark Chocoate-Coconut Clusters

Ingredients
4 to 5 cups unsweetened organic coconut flakes
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. bag dark chocolate chips
Sea salt or colored sanding sugar

Directions
1) In a bowl, combine coconut flakes with sweetened condensed milk. Stir well to combine. Add more coconut if the mixture is too wet (I started with 4 cups and added at least another half cup).

2) Shape coconut mixture into balls (see text above) and put on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put into freezer for 15 minutes. 

3) Meanwhile, put chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and stir. Continue microwaving in 10- to 15-second increments, stirring each time, until chocolate is melted. Be careful not to overcook the chocolate!

4) Remove coconut balls from freezer. One at a time, dip them in the melted chocolate or drizzle chocolate over each. Set on a tray lined with parchment and sprinkle with sugar or sea salt. Store candies in the refrigerator.


From chocolate to the another Valentine's Day treat ... flowers! In the spring, summer and fall, our garden provides a plethora of gorgeous dahlias that I enjoy cutting and bringing into the house. I love putting a small vase of flowers on the bathroom vanity for a pop of color.

In the winter months, I have started buying alstromeria at the grocery. This underrated flower is pretty, colorful and very well priced at only $4.00 a bunch. And I only need one bunch for the bathroom. They last a long time, too -- between three to four weeks if the flowers are very fresh when purchased. 

This red variety is a favorite; I had them in the house throughout the Christmas season. I have also bought yellow, white, orange and pink ones. Any color looks pretty in our white bathroom! Buying these flowers has become one of my favorite rituals.



I hope you and your special someone have a very lovely Valentine's Day! Thanks for visiting My Little Bungalow.

4 comments:

  1. Oh, thank you for this recipe. They look delicious. I know exactly what you mean about the difficulties of dipping candies. Yours look great.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just made the vegetable korma today. out of this world. merci times 1000.

    ReplyDelete

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