“So coconut drops are traditionally made with freshly grated coconut, dark raisins and candied citrus peels. I gave my recipe a face-lift with candied ginger and a pre-mixed pack of dried berries and cherries (blueberries, strawberries, bing, and sour cherries) I bought at Wholefoods.” – Chef LAM, Gasparillo Junction
Coconut drops look like Rock Cakes, you know that British treat eaten at teatime. They are made differently but can both be equally enjoyed over a hot cup of tea or coffee. The name implies how the firm, sweet dough is dropped onto the baking sheet to be baked.
Like me, I’m sure it took you becoming an adult to then appreciate and crave these homemade baked goods from home. I have to admit that growing up I unwillingly ate the coconut drops offered to me by my Grammies. Ha, worse when given at a church or a neighbor’s “prayers” or Thanksgiving. They woud proudly pass around their prized Sweet Bread and Coconut Drops on bright colored plastic trays to the little boys and girls, dressed in their Sunday best. “No tanks, I don’t eat dat” is what I wanted to say. But if it EVER got back to my Ma that I refused any food offered to me – that my friends, would be the last social event I would attend for a long time. LoL.
Commercially-made coconut drops and other Caribbean baked goods made with inferior ingredients and coconut essence instead of coconut meat or milk left such a bad taste in my mouth as well. But moving to the US and longing for everything Trinidad and Tobago, it was inevitable that I would try my hand at baking good ole drops that take me back to my island.
- 8 oz. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup candied ginger chopped
- 1 cup mixed dried berries and cherries
- 2 cups store-bought shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, sift flour, cinnamon and baking powder. To that combine the coconut, ginger and dried fruit and set aside.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. At this time you can use your fingers to continue combining the ingredients until fully incorporated. Dough should be firm and moist not loose and runny.
Lay the silicone mat on the baking sheet and spoon the dough onto it. Bake until golden brown. I sprinkled brown sugar on each and baked for 2 more minutes. Allow to cool on a rack before serving.
For the creaming method, I used brown instead of white sugar, only to yield a darker colour of drops. - This recipe makes 10 coconut drops if a 1/3 cup measuring spoon is used to scoop the dough. I dipped the spoon in water before scooping the dough and dropped it on the baking sheet. - Sift dry ingredients and bring butter and eggs to room temperature.
Recipe & Photos by Chef LAM