Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No-Spit Candy

My first year of college, I got adopted by a family in my church. It wasn't something any of us intended — I just needed a ride, as it would be nearly another year until I had my driver's license, and mountain biking in the snow while keeping warm was a stretch in my still-adapting wardrobe. So I rode with them. Problem is, they liked to stay and chat after church for a long time, until well after the cafeteria at Grace had closed. So they took me home for lunch. Those Sunday afternoons at their house were something I treasured then, and now. The kids — the oldest was, 10, I think — thought I was fun and cool (as much as I could tell) and the parents were wonderful to talk to and learn from. They became one of my first resources on figuring out how life on my own worked.

Now, I tell you that story, to tell you this one.

A few years later, when Deborah and I were "going out" — as much as one can "go out" when normally separated by a thousand miles — Deborah came down to visit me for Spring Break. Now, I didn't really have anyplace to go — my nearest relatives were well over a hundred miles away — and I certainly didn't have anyplace to put Deborah, so I asked if I could stay with them for the week. And, oh, can my girlfriend come, too?

Turns out we could.

The second or third day she was there, Deborah bounded out in her spritely way, and announced that she'd like to make candy. Resistance was slim, so she set to making up a big batch of coconut balls. This involved a large amount of powdered sugar, and Deborah, concerned that the kids would be... well, kids, dramatically emphasized that there was to be no added moisture to the mixture, lest the candies be reduced to balls of goo. If you sprayed when you spoke, you were banned during the first part — this was NO SPIT CANDY. She actually had me stand guard at the doors to the kitchen, which, in addition to making it more fun, made the candy nearly irresistible. It didn't hurt that they tasted really, really good, too.

Years later, when we were married, they invited us to join them for Thanksgiving. When we asked what we should bring, the answer was immediate and unanimous: NO SPIT CANDY! I think they were all gone before the meal was even served...

And now, year later than that, I see a renewed, plaintive plea in the comments on this blog, asking for the recipe for No-Spit Candy. So, here it is, guys. Enjoy.


2 lbs. powdered sugar
1 can condensed milk
1 ½ cups shredded coconut
1–2 cups chopped walnuts
½ stick (¼ cup) butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla


1 bag chocolate chips
½ block of paraffin (wax)

Mix the ingredients together and form into 1" balls. Place in the freezer until ready for dipping. Melt the paraffin (you can get this wherever they sell canning supplies) and the chocolate together in a double-boiler (or, as we did, in two nested pans with water in the bottom of one.) Dip the balls with toothpicks, and cover the hole with drizzle from a spoon. Enjoy!

Paul and Deborah demonstrate the dipping technique.


Linus said...

Thank you! Give Deborah a kiss for me...and we did think you were cool!

Carolina Kerr said...

Parafin is edible? I always thought petroleum products weren't especially dietary.

Andy said...

Isn't wax is just another long-chain hydrocarbon, just a bit longer than the chains in cooking oils or grease? It's a regular ingredient in U.S. chocolates.

When I was looking for paraffin in Spain (to use as a bicycle chain lubricant) I was repeatedly directed to the pharmacy, where they asked if I wanted the sort for drinking, and did I want a 1-liter or a 4-liter jug? Apparently, there, it was recommended not exactly as a laxative, but certainly as an internal lubricant to the same end.

In this case, though, the recipe calls for a solid, clearish wax that's usually sold for sealing canning jars.

Deborah said...

When we made the candies in Ecuador, we couldn't find paraffin, so we melted candles into the chocolate instead.

Jonadab said...

The purpose of the wax is to raise the melting point of the chocolate above body temperature, so you don't get messy fingers eating them. As for edibility, I don't think the human digestive system gets any real *value* out of wax, but it's not toxic.

Linus said...

Making my now semi-annual batch of no-spit candy!