Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy)

Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy)

I have always wondered why some of our dishes have been relegated to obscurity. Perhaps is the humble provenance of those dishes, something we have written about before, that keeps them away from the refined table. Maybe it’s time the revolution reached the cupboards.

Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy) is one such humble dish that still languishes as colmado fare, and although a childhood favorite with its fresh taste and chewy texture, it is never served to guests. A shame really.

Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy)

It’s funny how we strive to cook and serve some of our most complicated desserts, which become a source of headache and much rendering of garments amongst our beginner cooks.

If you are going for truly Dominican fare forget tres leches, or flan: they may be Dominican favorites but they are not unique to our cuisine.

Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy)

I suggest that if you are new to cooking you might start with the simple recipes; they might not impress your guests with your culinary prowess in the same way as a properly-made tres leches, but they will enjoy the simpler ones all the same.

Can we perhaps re-discover these dishes, present them in a dignified manner and serve them with pride?

Aunt Clara
Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Is there any food that say "love" better than honey? I don't think so either. Make a bunch of Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy), and go forth spreading love around you.
Serves: 6 servings
To cover the cookie sheet
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
For candy
  1. Grease a tray with the oil.
For the candy
  1. Mix in honey and 2 cups of coconut flakes. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling stir vigorously until the honey has turned a very dark caramel color (about 5 minutes).
  2. Pour the mixture on the oiled tray. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Cover your hands with a bit of oil and make balls about 1.5 in [4 cm] in diameter. Rest on the oiled tray.
  4. Serve at room temperature. For a bit of contrast you can sprinkle with coconut flakes.
This can also be made with molasses, but frankly I dislike molasses very much and couldn't bring myself to even try.

The color of your jalaos will depend on the color of the honey you use.
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{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Jennifer March 5, 2013, 10:12 PM

    I’ve got to thank you for all your awesome recipes. I’m Dominican but my husband is Mexican and I must admit I find myself cooking mostly Mexican food. But now, with your help, I’ve been able to prepare some of my childhood favorite dishes and teaching my kids about them! I even got a little emotional today when I found this recipe for Jalao, one of my mom’s favorite desserts (r.i.p). Thanks once again.

  • Isa Moran January 28, 2012, 5:16 PM


    just wanted to let you know how much i love this website

    the recipes are so awesome and sometimes so simple

    i tried most of the recipes and love all of them except for the quipes(kipes)

    omg there were so difficult to make i thought and truly i didn't like them. Anyways

    this is the closest i've come to real dominican food and desserts

    thank you so much

    and please keep the recipes coming

  • Edgar September 29, 2011, 1:24 PM

    Do you know the nutrition value of the Jalao?? i appreciate your help :) el orguillo de ser Dominicano!!!

    • Aunt Clara September 29, 2011, 1:41 PM

      No, honestamente que no tengo idea. Puedes consultar en una tabla los ingredientes independientes.

  • Anja @ AnjasFood4Tho September 25, 2011, 7:30 PM

    What an amazing recipe. I love foods that only consists of just a few ingredients. Honey and coconut just sound like the perfect combination. Will have to try this for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  • Alison @ ingredients September 23, 2011, 5:00 AM

    wow! fabulous

  • My Fudo September 22, 2011, 10:28 PM

    That looks so delish. How many days will it last? I want to prepare and pack it in plastics.

  • Sheila May 26, 2011, 11:38 AM

    How many pieces are in a serving?

  • Aunt Clara April 25, 2011, 11:31 AM

    @Sara: Boil until it starts boiling with very big bubbles. Or better yet, use a candy thermometer and boil until reaches 225 F degrees.

  • Esther April 21, 2011, 12:44 PM

    I love this…

  • sara April 17, 2011, 2:54 PM

    how long do you boil the honey? mine were too liquid

  • natasha March 30, 2011, 1:08 PM

    are these better than Memelos?

  • Elizabeth March 2, 2011, 9:45 AM

    wow, these looks and sound so yummy!! Thanks for posting… I can't wait to try them out this weekend :)

  • Carmen Rosa February 11, 2011, 4:52 PM

    I so want one of those. Or five.