August 29, 2009

Butterscotch Haystacks

Butterscotch Haystacks are crunchy candies featuring the great taste of toasted coconut and smooth butterscotch chips. The secret to preventing these candies from being cloyingly sweet is to use unsweetened shredded coconut, and a good pinch of salt. The unsweetened coconut has all the crunch and flavor of shredded coconut, without the extra sugar, and the salt provides a nice balance to the sweet butterscotch chips.

* 2 cups (4 oz) shredded unsweetened coconut
* 1 cup plus 2 tbsp butterscotch chips
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and set aside for now. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Place the coconut in a pie tin or small baking pan, and toast it in the oven until golden brown. The secret to good toasted coconut is consistent browning, so be sure to stir it every 2 minutes until it is an even, light golden color. It will probably take 8-10 minutes, but monitor your coconut carefully.

3. While the coconut is toasting, place the butterscotch chips in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave them until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating.

4. Once the coconut is toasted and the butterscotch chips are melted, stir the salt into the butterscotch chips, and then stir in the coconut, mixing until coconut is entirely coated with butterscotch.

5. Using a small teaspoon or candy scoop, drop small, compact spoonfuls of the candy onto the prepared baking sheet.

6. After all of the haystacks have been formed, place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave until melted. Stir until the chocolate is smooth, then spoon the melted chocolate into a small Ziploc bag. Snip off a tiny corner of the bag, and drizzle the haystacks with melted chocolate.

7. Refrigerate to set the butterscotch and chocolate, at least 30 minutes. Store Butterscotch Haystacks in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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