I was always that kid who actually liked coconut. Let me take all those Almond Joys off your hands, I'd say, smiling as I pocketed the Halloween candy.
Nothing has changed in that regard, though it seems like coconut has been getting a lot more love than it did when I was a kid.
Coconut milk is now nearly as common as soy milk as a dairy alternative, a fact cemented by its offering at Starbucks. And there are dozens of Pinterest pins about all of the uses for coconut oil. One of the best ways? Melt it with chocolate for a homemade version of Magic Shell, that chocolate coating of my '90s youth. Combined with coconut oil, the chocolate hardens about 30 seconds after coating an ice pop or ice cream.
Which brings us to this week's recipe: coconut pops. My ice pop mold was a worthy investment a few summers ago. I shared a bright, fruity ice pop recipe a few weeks ago to kick off the icy treat season, but the latest ice pops to hit my freezer are worth sharing, too. These rich coconut pops are extra creamy from the use of coconut cream (not to be confused with cream of coconut, its much sweeter cousin). Coconut cream is a more concentrated version of coconut milk. Sweetened condensed milk adds some needed sweetness, and a bit of shredded coconut brings texture to the pops.
The gorgeous white pop is drizzled in the easy-to-make chocolate coating I mentioned above, adding contrast in both color and flavor as well as a canvas for toppings. I used toasted coconut flakes and cacao nibs for drama, but feel free to use sprinkles or any other topping you'd like. Just be sure to work quickly to adhere the toppings to the chocolate before it completely hardens, or the pop begins to melt. It's hot out there.
Ileana Morales Valentine lives in St. Petersburg with her husband. For more of their kitchen stories, visit her blog, ALittleSaffron.com. Say hello at [email protected]