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Bought Trader Joe's thick strips of lightly sweetened dried coconut. Now what?

greygarious May 29, 2013 04:09 PM

I got them a few months ago and have yet to open the bag. I suppose I could dip them in melted chocolate or grind them up for use in baking but both seem like traveling from Newark to New York via Pittsburgh. I could just buy Mounds candy or bagged shredded coconut.

Anyone have any suggestions? The strips are slightly pliable but roughly 1/4" thick and wide, from 1 to 3" long. Some straight, some curled. I think they would be hard enough to chew that they would not be pleasant to eat out of hand, but I could be wrong since I have not tried them yet.

  1. Elster May 30, 2013 07:49 AM

    Keep them whole and bake them into a coconut-lime cake, they make a really tasty texture contrast - plus they look beautiful scattered on top! I love this recipe: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/ty...

    I just add in a couple of generous handfuls of the coconut strips when making the batter.

    1. BluPlateSpec May 30, 2013 07:49 AM

      Baked and then lightly salt them. You'll have to experiment with temperature and time. It's a snack that goes great with a martini.

      3 Replies
      1. re: BluPlateSpec
        HillJ May 30, 2013 07:51 AM

        Curious, you baked dried fruit and added salt to coconut shards already sweet? That's interesting.

        1. re: HillJ
          BluPlateSpec Jun 1, 2013 09:53 AM

          A very long time ago there was a commercial snack product called (I believe) "Coconut Zombies." A friend's mother always had them on the kitchen counter and I would find any reason to visit so I could grab a hand full. As I remember they were baked or toasted to the point that the edges were a deep brown with the center being a lighter shade and softer. The light salting just accented the sweetness. Maybe I'll get some coconut and try to recreate it.

          1. re: BluPlateSpec
            HillJ Jun 1, 2013 10:02 AM

            BluP, that snack sounds so good!

      2. HillJ May 29, 2013 05:39 PM

        I bought a big bag of dried coconut from Costco and while I've been adding slivers to fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and just nibbling on it out of hand, I did make these bars the other day and they were very tasty. The lemongrass and coconut combo was so refreshing.

        Lemongrass Bars with Coconut Shortbread Crust

        1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
        1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (about 3 ounces)
        1/2 cup powdered sugar
        1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

        1 1/4 cups sugar
        scant 1/2 cup grated lemongrass
        5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
        3 large eggs
        1/4 cup all purpose flour
        Powdered sugar

        Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Using electric mixer, beat flour, coconut, powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl until well blended, 30 seconds. Add butter; beat on low speed until moist clumps form. Press dough onto bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Bake crust until golden (edges will be darker), about 25 minutes.

        Meanwhile, place sugar and lemongrass in processor; pulse until lemongrass is finely ground, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice; process until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add eggs; process to blend, 10 to 15 seconds. Add flour and pinch of salt; pulse until smooth.
        Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Pour filling over hot crust; bake until filling is firm, 22 to 23 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.
        Cut lemongrass bars lengthwise into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 pieces. Dust bars with powdered sugar and serve.

        4 Replies
        1. re: HillJ
          greygarious May 30, 2013 05:50 AM

          Nice recipe but not suitable for these strips in their current form. I suspect I'll need to go in the savory direction, with a curry or soup.

          1. re: greygarious
            HillJ May 30, 2013 07:39 AM

            Are the strips you bought from TJ's different than the ones I nabbed @ Costco?

            Here's what I bought:

            1. re: HillJ
              greygarious May 30, 2013 01:37 PM

              I can't tell how large and thick the Costco shards are but the TJ ones could never work with an electric mixer. They are much longer than they are wide/thick. In cross-section they are roughly 1/4" square. And they are not as tender as described in the link.

              1. re: greygarious
                HillJ May 30, 2013 01:44 PM

                There's a photo on that link that shows the coconut out of the bag. I used a microplane to flake the pieces for the bar recipe.

        2. s
          scunge May 29, 2013 04:27 PM

          I add to my own made granola

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