A few weeks ago, my boyfriend got his wisdom teeth pulled. I stocked up on post-surgery-friendly food and ended up with more Jello-O than a person could possibly want. I had more Jell-O than my boyfriend wanted, so I had a few boxes left over. I also had some heavy whipping cream that I needed to use before it expired, and an urge to make chocolates. For the last week, the weather outside has been a bit stand-offish – chilly but sunny, as though to invite you outside to the apparent warmth and joy, but when you step outside you realize you’ve just been punk’d. It also hasn’t helped that one of my friends just planned a trip to Hawaii and she’s been talking about sunshine and bathing suits. I was thinking tropical; Orange Cream Jell-O and Coconut Haystacks.
Coconut Haystacks are little mounds of chocolate-covered toasted coconut. I started with those by preheating my oven to 350 degrees and making a thin layer of shredded coconut on a baking sheet.
I put that in the oven for only 3-5 minutes before pulling it out when it looked like this.
I used a spoon to mix the shredded coconut around, and put the pan back into the oven for another 3 minutes. Coconut toasts very quickly once it starts.
I stirred it around once more and put it in the oven for 2 minutes. You want the coconut to be nicely toasted, a light to dark brown color. Thoroughly toasted coconut stays crispy after being coated in chocolate, hence. why the chocolates are called ‘Coconut Haystacks’. If the coconut is not very well toasted, the chocolates will be blobs instead of pretty little haystacks.
While I had the coconut in the oven, I started on the orange cream Jell-O. I steamed heavy whipping cream in a saucepan on the stove…
And added the orange gelatin and some more heavy whipping cream.
I poured it into four little dessert cups and left them int the refrigerator for an hour or so.
I melted some dark chocolate in the microwave and poured in the toasted coconut. The best way to melt chocolate is to put it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval. The total time for the chocolate should be 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, the chocolate should be completely melted.
You want the consistency of the chocolate and coconut mixture to be mostly coconut so that when you spoon out the haystacks the coconut will pile cleanly instead of having chocolate ooze out.
Then, I spooned out little piles of chocolate covered coconut onto an aluminum-lined baking sheet…
And popped them in the freezer for 20 minutes.
I really like the taste of dark chocolate with the coconut because it brings out the nuttiness of the coconut, but any chocolate will work to make haystacks with.
I may have been able to inspire tropical thinking in my kitchen, but the weather has yet to catch up with me…
The directions for Jell-O are on the side of every Jell-O box, I figured I didn’t need to post that. I just substituted heavy whipping cream in place of water, and steamed the cream instead of boiling it like the directions say to do with water.
Recipe for Coconut Haystacks:
1 cup chocolate
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Put into the preheated oven for 3-5 minutes at a time, for about 10 minutes total time, stirring coconut around after every interval. Coconut should be medium brown in color and crispy.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it’s completely melted. Stir after every 30 seconds.
Pour the toasted coconut into the melted chocolate. The consistency of the mixture should not be runny with chocolate, the coconut should be lightly coated in chocolate. Scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture onto a lined cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.