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Cooking with coconut – coconut recipes

Coconut is not only chock full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but it’s also extremely versatile. Toss shredded coconut into baked goods; sprinkle on cereal, oatmeal, fruit or yogurt; incorporate into crumble topping; use as grain-free breadcrumbs for fish or meat; or add to smoothies, ice cream or hot chocolate. You can even make coconut butter by blending shreds in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Featured Recipe

Maine Potato Candy
by Susie Miller of Clark, MO

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 cups flaked coconut
¾ cup cold mashed potatoes without added milk or butter
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. dark candy coating

In a large bowl, combine sugar, coconut, potatoes, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil; butter foil. Spread coconut mixture in pan; cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into 2x1-inch rectangles. Cover and freeze. In a microwave or double boiler, melt candy coating. Dip bars in coating; place on waxed paper to harden. Store in an airtight container. Yields 2 lbs.

Coconut Fried Shrimp
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups cornstarch
6½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. Cajun seasoning 
1½ cups cold water
½ tsp. vegetable oil, with additional oil for deep-fat frying
2½ cups flaked coconut
1 lb. uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup orange marmalade
¼ cup honey

In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Stir in water and ½ teaspoon oil until smooth. Place coconut in another bowl. Dip shrimp into batter, then coat with coconut. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375˚. Fry shrimp, a few at a time, for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. In a saucepan, heat marmalade and honey; stir until blended. Serve as a dipping sauce for the shrimp. Yields 4 servings.  Recipe by PERRY PETERSHEIM, MOBERLY, MO.

Caribbean Fruit Salad
1 (8 oz.) can pineapple chunks
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin orange slices, drained
1 cup coconut
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 (8 oz.) tub whipped topping
¼ cup maraschino cherries, drained
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Drain pineapple, reserving 1 tablespoon liquid. In a medium bowl, combine pineapple chunks, orange slices, coconut, marshmallows, whipped topping, maraschino cherries and reserved pineapple juice. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours before serving. Before serving, top with nuts. Yields 6 servings. Recipe by IDA LAMBRIGHT, LAMAR, MO.

Coconut Joys
½ cup butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
3 cups coconut
2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened chocolate, melted

Melt butter or margarine in saucepan. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and coconut. Mix well. Shape rounded teaspoons of mixture into balls. Make indent in center of each; place on cookie sheet. Fill centers with melted chocolate. Chill until firm. Store in refrigerator. Yields 3 dozen. Recipe by SYLVIA BRUCKERHOFF, HERMANN, MO.

Almond Joy Cookies
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
²⁄³ cup sliced almonds
2 cups chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) package shredded coconut
Heat oven to 325˚. Combine all ingredients and scoop spoonfuls onto parchment paper. Flatten slightly with wet fingers. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until brown. Yields 1½ dozen cookies. Recipe by GEORGIA ROBINSON, GREENTOP, MO.

Honey-Almond Granola
4 cups oats
¹⁄³ cup brown sugar
½ cup wheat germ, untoasted
½ cup coconut
¼ cup sesame seeds
¾ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds, sliced
Raisins (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)
¹⁄³ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
Heat oven to 350˚. Bake oats in a 9x13-inch pan in oven for 10 minutes. Add brown sugar, wheat germ, coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds. Add raisins and cinnamon, if desired. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine vegetable oil, honey and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and mix until well coated. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to brown evenly. Cool. Stir until crumbly. Keep refrigerated. Yields 12 servings.  Recipe by MARSHA ODOM, SALEM, MO.

Cool Coconut Cream Pie
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant coconut cream pudding
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant French vanilla cream pudding
2 cups milk
½ cup coconut flakes
½ tsp. coconut flavor
1 tsp. Mexican vanilla
1 (8 oz.) tub whipped topping, divided
1 baked pie crust, cooled
¾ cup coconut flakes, toasted

Mix both boxes of pudding and milk. Fold in coconut, flavorings and ½ tub whipped topping. Add pudding mixture to prepared pie crust. Refrigerate until pudding is set. Spread remaining whipped topping on top of pudding layer. Heat oven to 350° and toast ¾ cup coconut flakes until brown. Cool and then sprinkle toasted coconut on pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Yields 8 servings. Recipe by CAROLYN HARMS, LEETON, MO.

Coconut Date Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
¾ tsp. baking soda
2 tbls. hot water
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond flavoring
2 cups quick oatmeal
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped dates
Heat oven to 350˚. In a 6-quart bowl, cream sugars and shortening. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add soda to hot water; add to mixture. Sift flour and baking powder; add to mixture. Mix in flavorings and remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Yields 2 to 3 dozen. Recipe by LIZZIE YODER, CLARK, MO.