Coconut drops are a popular Jamaican confection in which the flesh of the coconut is cut into small pieces cooked in sugar water until the sugar is caramelized, a piece of ginger is also added for flavor.
1 dry coconut (not bone dry) cut into small squares or cubes
Sugar to taste (brown sugar is best) crushed
2 1/2 cups water
a piece of fresh ginger (1 tablespoon)
Note: Do not use bone dry coconut (extra dry) coconut to make drops, because it will be oily. Bone dry coconut is ideal to make coconut oil. You can tell if the coconut is extra dry by looking at the shell (outer covering) is extremely dark
Pour the water into a medium-size thick bottom pot over high heat, bring to a boil, add the sugar. Stir and taste the water to know if it is sweet enough, after adjusting the taste, add the ginger, cover the pot cook the ginger in the sugar water for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the coconut pieces. Stir then cover the pot to continue boiling the coconut drops.
After 5 minutes, add the coconut pieces. Stir then cover the pot. After 15 minutes, keep the pot open. Cook the coconut until the liquid becomes thick and sticky while stirring every 2 minutes to prevent the coconut squares from sticking to the pot
This is the technical part that throws a lot of people off. The liquid should be sticky and reduced almost to nothing and the coconut pieces should be sticking to each other.
The traditional way of cooling the coconut drops is on a banana leaf. However, I dislike that idea, because insects and lizards crawl on banana leaves. You can cool the drops on a cookie sheet
Use a spoon to make different heaps on a cookie sheet. Allow to cool properly. Make sure to fill the pot with water immediately for easy washing.
Sometimes because the focus is to get the caramelized sugar liquid to the right consistency, eventually it is dried out too much, so when the coconut drops are spooned into heaps the top of the drops, often loose because the caramelized liquid is what holds the coconut drops together. So, if that happens, just put 1/4 cup of water with 1 teaspoon sugar to boil until it becomes thick and sticky. Then drizzle the caramelized liquid over the top of the drops
You can use shredded coconut (flakes) instead of the small coconut squares or cubes.