Let’s go Coconut with Coconut Bon Bons
Let’s make Coconut Bon Bons! Yes, I know there is this love/hate relationship for some of you with coconut. For all the non-coconut folks, I’m working on something yummy to share with you. But for those with the love of coconut, let’s get our Bon Bons on.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise
Today we welcome a surprise ingredient to the bon bon party. Let’s all welcome the Potato! Now for all of you that just turned you nose up, just hang out with me for a minute.
Centers of confections like peppermint patties or vanilla creams contain a binder or fat to hold the other ingredients together and make them creamy. The most common binder for confections are butter, cream cheese or shortening.
But you can also other ingredients such as bananas or potato!
It’s a Family Tradition
So the potato has been a long-standing ingredient in my family’s candy making for years. Especially in confections such as the Coconut Bon Bons, Peppermint Patties and Old Fashion Potato Candy. Who knows, maybe we do have some Irish in us after all!
Let’s get Started
The recipe calls for 5 ingredients: 1) cooked potatoes, 2) sifted powdered sugar, 3) shredded coconut 4) coconut flavor and 5) dipping chocolate.
Potato, Pa Ta To
For the potatoes, I use the steam in the bag mash potatoes. However, you can just boil a peeled potato or bake one in the microwave. You just need the inside, no skins. Also, you want to measure the cup of cooked before you mash/puree. Just cube up the potato, cook and measure a good cup. Do be sure to remove all the potato skin. When you are mashing or mixing, you want this mixture as smooth as you can get, no lumps. I use either the blender or food processor to get a nice smooth cooked potato mixture.
Powdered Sugar, Sift Baby Sift
The key to nice creamy centers for the coconut bon bons is no lumps. You will want to sift, even if the package says sifted. If you use 10x Powdered Sugar, it does contain corn starch to prevent from caking. That doesn’t always work, especially if you live in a very humid climate. I use a sieve for sifting.
Shredded Coconut Sweetened or Unsweetened
The choice of sweet or unsweetened coconut is up to you. These confections are already on the sweet side, so I typically use unsweetened. If you do find the mixture too sweet, add a squirt or two of lemon juice. Lemon Juice help reduce the “kick” of the powdered sugar.
My favorite coconut flavoring is by Loraine Oils and it’s their coconut oil. Flavoring oil not to be confused with “coconut oil”. If you use the flavoring oils, just remember they are strong. A little goes a long way.
Chocolate for Dipping
When I describe what the Coconut Bon Bon’s taste like, I refer to Mounds and Almond Joy’s. So with that, you can either dip in milk or dark chocolate. I also use the dipping compound chocolate for these confections. Ghirardelli now has dipping chocolate disks available in the baking isle. My other favorite dipping chocolates come from Chocoley.
So just a few notes when making the recipe:
- The potatoes should be slightly warm, not hot or cold. This will help “melt” the powdered sugar and remove any lumps that missed the sifting. If the mixture is too hot, you will have a runny mess. If the mixture is too cold, you will get lumpy centers.
- The mixture will turn loose with the first few cups of powdered sugar, this is okay.
- Don’t over add on the powdered sugar. This is one of those recipes where you are going to have to employ “look and feel”. The mixture should look like loose cooked oatmeal. Do not try to get the mixture stiff like cookie dough or truffles. The mixture needs to be somewhat soft so you get that nice cream center.
- Chilling in the freezer is a must. If you do not chill, the center will flood and spread. Chill before scooping and before dipping in chocolate.
- The #40 Disher rocks this recipe! The .75-ounce scoop makes the perfect size for bon bons
- Gluten Free Bonus! No flour or wheat products are used in this confections. Sugar yes, Flour No.
- Dairy Free if you use a dairy free chocolate – No dairy in the centers, just watch the chocolate you use.
Ready, Set, Bon Bon
So if you are a coconut and chocolate lover, I hope you try this recipe. I promise, you will never be able to notice or taste the potatoes.
These little confections are perfect size for dessert buffets, holiday gift boxes and more. No refrigeration needed, either!
Coconut Bon Bons in Dark ChocolatePrint Recipe
- 1 cup of cooked potato, mashed
- 6 to 7 cups of Powdered Sugar, Sifted
- 5 1/3 cups of Shredded Coconut, unsweetened (1 14-ounce bag)
- 2 teaspoons of Coconut Flavoring
- 1 pound or more of Dipping Chocolate
- ½ cup of Shredded Coconut for topping (optional)
Prepare the potatoes by either boiling, microwaving or using the steamed bags until you can easily mash with a fork.
Using either a mixer, blender or food processor; whip the potatoes until they are completely smooth with no lumps. Do NOT add any salt, milk or other ingredients. You just need plain cooked potatoes.
Let the potato mixture cool slightly. The potatoes should be slightly warm and not cold before mixing the remaining ingredients.
Move the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and using either a stand or hand mixture, begin adding the powdered sugar.
Add about 3 cups of the sifted powdered sugar to the potatoes and mix well. You will notice that the mixture becomes very loose, this is okay.
Add all the coconut to the mixture and mix well. The mixture will still be loose.
Add the coconut flavoring.
Continue to add the powdered sugar until your mixture resembles and looks like cooked oatmeal. I normally use about 6 cups, but the actual measure depends on the kitchen climate. This is one of those measures is taste and look. However, you do not want this mixture stiff. The centers of the bon bons need to be somewhat soft and not dense like a truffle or like cookie dough.
Place the center mixture in the freezer and chill for at least 30 minutes. The center mixture needs to be very cold before scooping out the centers.
While the mixture is chilling prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper for the scooped centers.
Remove the mixture from the freezer and using a #40 disher (.75 ounce) purple handle, scoop portions of the centers on to the prepared parchment paper.
Return to the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. The centers need to be very cold before dipping.
Prepare the dipping chocolate in a silicone bowl by microwaving at 30 second intervals, stirring between each 30 seconds until melted. Do not over heat or burn the chocolate.
Remove the centers from the freezer.
Dip each center into chocolate. I use the dunk method. I will just put the center in the chocolate and flip it over with a fork. Lift out with a fork and let the extra chocolate drip. Move to the parchment and scoot off the folk with a butter knife.
If you like, sprinkle a little shredded coconut on top of each before the chocolate sets. Just remember, the centers are very cold, so they will set quickly.
The coconut bon bons do not need to be refrigerated. The shelf life for these candies is about 5 to 7 days in a sealed containers. If you do refrigerate, use a sealed container and store up to 2 weeks. Just note, that because of the moisture the chocolate will sweat when bringing back to room temperature. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
You can make the centers ahead of time and freeze to dip at a later dates.
Naturally Gluten Free, no wheat product are used. The Centers are dairy free - if you use a diary free chocolate, then the Bon Bons will be dairy free.