May 21, 2004

Coconut Pralines

Stacey told me that I was a good cook. I said that I really wasn't a good cook, but that I could follow the recipes and that I was mechanically sound. She didn't say anything to argue the point like she was supposed to do, which means that I was right for the first time ever. Man, that felt pretty good.

I made coconut pralines to go along with some other stuff she made for the other three people in Stacey's office a couple of years ago. Her boss, Sue, the sales manager for the eastern half of the U.S., and Jen, a sales coordinator, are class people and sent a note home to me thanking me.

A salesman, Frank, I'll call him, because his name is really Frank, asked Stacey what they were -- the coconut pralines, that is, like he couldn't tell what they were. When she told him, he said, "I hate coconut."

Stacey told him to take them home to his wife and four children. "They won't like them, either," was his answer. Needless to say, I am not enamored of ... Frank.

Be prepared to stir till your arm falls off. It gets hot over the pot, so be careful.

Ingredients you will need:

8 ounces of coconut (about 3 cups)
12 ounce can of evaporated milk
3 cups of granulated sugar
3 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of milk
4 Tbs. of butter

Other stuff that is pretty important:

Greased cookie sheets -- 2 will do -- for the pralines
One ungreased cookie sheet to spread coconut on for toasting
Large pot
Candy thermometer
Long-handled metal spoon

Spread half the coconut on an ungreased cookie sheet and toast it in a 350 F oven until golden, stirring every couple minutes. Remove it from the oven and set it aside. You can also turn off the oven.

Pour the regular milk and evaporated milk into the pot and stir in the sugar over high heat. Bring it to a boil, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil once again and stir briskly. Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly until the solution reaches 240 F on the candy thermometer.

Add all the coconut, butter, and the vanilla and stir enthusiastically for about a minute or so, then remove the pot from the heat.

Using a tablespoon, drop heaping spoonfuls of the candy mixture onto the greased cookie sheets. Cool, remove from cookie sheets with a spatula, and store in an airtight container if there are any left over.

Posted by Bill at May 21, 2004 12:12 AM