Coconut & Almond Sweets

Learn how you can make delicious white chocolate, coconut and almond sweets that will be perfect for this holiday season.

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courtesy by Hardie Grant Books
10 hours DURATION
60 minutes COOK TIME
1 hour PREP TIME


  • 180 g (6-1/2 oz) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 30 g (1 oz) coconut oil
  • 80 ml (3 fl oz/1/3 cup) coconut milk
  • Seeds of 1/4 vanilla pod (bean)
  • Grated zest and 1 tsp juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 25 blanched almonds
  • 60 g (2 oz/1 cup) desiccated (dried shredded) coconut

Extra Equipment

  • Sugar stars (for decorating)
  • Small paper cases


  • The day before, preheat the oven to 120ºC (250ºF/gas 1/2 ). Put the chocolate and oil in a small ovenproof dish and caramelise in the oven for 60 minutes, stirring well every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until lukewarm.
  • Put the coconut milk in a saucepan with the scraped out vanilla pod and the vanilla seeds, bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove, allow to cool slightly and remove the vanilla pod. Pour the milk onto the caramelised chocolate, grated lime zest, lime juice and salt, mix everything together well, cover and leave in a cool place overnight.
  • The next day, briefly brown the almonds in a pan (without any oil or butter). Press out small portions of dough using a teaspoon, press an almond into each one and shape the mixture into balls between your hands. Immediately roll them in coconut shavings. Place a sugar star on top, and gently press in place. Put the sweets in small paper cases and store in the fridge.

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Recipes excerpted with permission from Let it Snow by Agnes Prus, published by Hardie Grant Books October 2019.

You Be Sweet

You know how those Southern dessert recipes go — a cup of sugar here, a stick of butter there, eight squares of bak­ing chocolate, or a pint of the season’s juiciest fruit. That recipe for blueberry cream pie — it’s been passed around the church for so long nobody can quite remember who made it first. Or how about the one for red velvet cheesecake you’ve been trying to coax out of your sister-in-law for years? She serves it every Christmas Eve, but so far her lips are sealed.

These are the types of food traditions that inspire You Be Sweet — a celebration of Southern dessert recipes and the people who cherish them. In this compilation of stories and sweet treats, Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson peek in on those occasions special enough to demand something decadent, and memorable enough to be repeated time and again. You’ll find the strawberry jam bars that always make an appearance at the neighborhood picnic. The German chocolate cake roll that pulls in the big bucks at the charity bake sale? That’s here too. The blackberry jelly recipe that has graced Mason jars all over the South for decades? It’s here, and it’s just about the best hostess gift you can offer up. Be sweet? You won’t be able to help it!