I grew up eating something called “coconut drops.” This would be akin to going to the local store and buying candy. Coconut drops is made from coconut of course :-), held together by boiled usually brown sugar mixed with some ginger. A simple recipe, but it is really good and takes a degree of art to make it. So let’s talk about how to make Jamaican coconut drops.
One thing to note is that once it is made and the sugar hardens to hold it all together, it is pretty hard on the teeth. It is a labor of love to make it as you have to carefully cut the coconut into little squares/rectangles. I remember doing this for a family friend while growing up. She, Miss Hannah, made the best drops ever and I always enjoyed cutting up the coconut, while eating some of it and then getting the bowl at the end of it all. It was like eating the batter left in the cake mixing bowl.
I had some drops recently when I visited my 100+ grand aunt in Jamaica and it was fantastic! She was not the one who made it sadly, I actually bought it at a local market.
Here is the very simple recipe.
Jamaican Coconut Drops
- 1 dry coconut
- some brown sugar
- some ginger
- Break the coconut carefully so that you can drink the coconut water inside. The only thing you should throw away is the husk of the coconut (the hard outer shell). Carefully remove the coconut from the husk; a future video will show you how to do this properly.
- Carefully cut the coconut into small squares/rectangles. This will take you a little while to do as it is a tedious task.
- Once that is complete, wash, then chop the ginger into small pieces.
- Pour some water in a pot and bring to boil. Spoon in the brown sugar and then the chopped coconuts, add the chopped ginger.
- It will be necessary to continue stirring the mixture as the sugar will start to stick to the pot as time progresses.
- Ensure that the flame on your stove is low to avoid burning.
- Once the texture of the mixture starts to stick to the spoon, turn off the stove and immediately spoon out the mixture into piles on a plate or cooking board.
This is one of my favorite snacks as a child growing up. I still eat it today.
When I start to send out cooking videos, there will be a video on how to do this. You’ll want to sign up for these lessons.
Have you ever eaten coconut drops? If so, I’d like to hear all about it.
For those of us who don’t have the time/heavy machinery needed to use proper coconut, could this recipe be done with dessicated coconut?
Thanks for your comment.
“heavy machinery” that is funny…I will have a lesson on how to break and remove the coconut from its husk in the future.
What is “dessicated” coconut? As long as you have the coconut diced then you will be fine.
Dessicated coconut is the shredded coconut that you use in cakes and things. It would change the texture a bit, but would it “work”?
Shredded coconut won’t work. Actually, if you shred, i.e. grate the coconut, you make a variation of coconut drops called “grater cake.” I’ll add the recipe for that soon as well.
All you really need to get the coconut diced is a method of breaking the dried coconut, a blunt knife to remove the coconut from the husk and a sharp knife to dice the coconut. A future video will reveal these secrets so stay tuned.
My neighbor is Jamaican and she makes these for me! They are so delicious! I have been exposed to a lot of Jamaican food due to her, she makes a Jerk chicken and ox tails with rice that are wonderful! She is going to show me how to make these coconut drops this weekend, can’t wait!!
I can’t wait to hear about it.
I hope she makes rice and peas and not just white rice for you :-).
Do you use fresh ginger or candied ginger?
Always fresh ginger Terri.
I tried to make these recently for my boyfriend who grew up loving them. Is there a trick to get the sugar the right consistancy?
Yes, you have to turn the fire down low and use a wooden spoon to turn it; once the sugar starts to stick to the spoon you are done. be careful, if it touches your skin, you are toast.
i’m so glad i found your blog…. i had coconut drops once, about 15 years ago and never forgot them… i can’t wait for you to add your videos on how to do it, so that i can make them myself.
thank you Adriana. Still working on getting the videos sorted.
I have very fond memories of visiting my relatives in Jamaica and coconut drops are definitely at the forefront of them!
I would love to make some as a Christmas gift for family here in the UK however my last attempt was a kind of failure…
…sticky, toffee coated drops!
Flavour was just how I remember and parts of it were coated in crisp, crystalized sugar but not wholly hard as they should be!
Any advice you could give me to make the sugar set hard around the coconut would be highly appreciated!