I’ll just lay it all out there: I have fork-rolling-chocolate problems. And I die for dark chocolate. Especially dark chocolate coconut.
So what that means is that even though I need chocolate daily, I typically avoid rolling things in chocolate with forks. But then Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites came waltzing right in and got me all mixed up.
These are one of those sweet, perfect, cutesy things that I like to keep in a little tupperware container hidden on the back shelf of the fridge for just the perfect small after dinner snack (aka breakfast). And even though my rolling skills are nonexistent, I’m developing what some might call a habit. A little habit filled with moist, dense, naturally sweetened coconut glory and coated/dipped/dunked to the depths in dark chocolate.
Looks like I’ll need to take my fork rolling skills a little more seriously.
Bjork rarely doesn’t like the stuff I make but this was one of those rare times. I believe his exact words were, “Dark chocolate just doesn’t do it for me.”
Bjorkkkk. Sad story.
I didn’t get defensive or self-conscious (me? never). I just took his half eaten one and the rest of the batch that were sitting on the pan and put them in a little container labeled “Lindsay.” Well, I labeled it in my head. Because even though I like to make food that he loves, sometimes a girl needs her own personal stash of dark chocolate coconut sweetness just waiting for her in that cold, cold fridge.
Speaking of cold.
It’s not cold here. At all. Pinky promise, cross my heart, don’t question me on it.
For this recipe you should use dessicated coconut. That’s different from shredded sweetened coconut – it’s more like dried, finely shredded coconut meat that is not sweet. That’s okay because it’s still yummy, especially pulsed through your blender a few times to make a thick, sticky sort of powder. You’ll add some natural sweetness to the coconut filling from the ingredient of your choice: honey or maple syrup.
Big decision right there. Spend a minute thinking about that please.
The first time I made these, it was a total fail. I ended up literally just mixing all the coconut in with all the melted chocolate and pressing it into a pan. When all else fails, press it into a pan and call it bars. That’s my thinking.
But the second time I was a little more careful and a little more patient and this:
I used coconut oil
You must use coconut oil. Coconut oil does this magic thing that regular oil does not do. It hardens. Like, it becomes firm. So when I rolled/squeezed/awkwardly formed these little coconut balls and then refrigerated them for 15 minutes, they became hard! I could have picked one up and thrown it across the room right into Bjork’s mouth (sans the dark chocolate) and it would have held together. If you don’t use coconut oil, you’re going to end up with a flaky, coconutty mess on your hands.
Even when you do use coconut oil, it’s a little tricky. Just be okay with your hands smelling like coconut for a while and a few oddly shaped balls at first.
You will reap yummy rewards.
So what did you decide? Honey or maple syrup?
I’ll just tell you right now: I loved them both, and they are both really different. The maple syrup tastes like, uhh, maple syrup. And the honey taste something like honey. Whoa. That’s deep. But I was actually really surprised how much the flavors of these sweeteners came through in the finished product. Each gorgeous little bite-sized ball tasted like straight up almond joy with either a slight honey or maple leaning.
I couldn’t decide which I liked better so I made two batches and just kept them both in the fridge. Both labeled with my name.
And I will do the same thing again next week and for all time.
You’re missing out, Bjork.
- 2 cups dessicated coconut
- 4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 ounces dark chocolate for melting (i.e. chocolate chips)
- Pulse the coconut in a blender or food processor until the texture becomes like thick flour. Transfer to a bowl and add the honey or maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir until a thick paste forms.
- Using your hands, squeeze the mixture into about 18 small balls. I found that rolling was difficult because they weren't sticky enough, but I was able to shape them into balls by first squeezing them in my palm a few times (you'll get some oil on your hands), and then gently shaping it from an oval into a round ball. Place the coconut balls in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until firm. I could tell that mine were ready because there was a small white ring of solidified coconut oil around the base of each ball.
- Melt the chocolate slowly and gently until smooth and spreadable. We don't have a microwave, so I had the best results melting this in a stainless steel bowl placed in a hot oven for about 10 minutes.
- Lay out a sheet of wax paper. Using two forks, roll each coconut ball in the chocolate until completely covered. Scoop the ball out with the fork and let the extra chocolate drip off the fork. Gently nudge the chocolate covered ball onto wax paper and chill until the chocolate has hardened. Store in the refrigerator.