Like nothing you've tried before, memelos (Dominican lollipops filled with coconut fudge) have a hard caramel cover and coconutty inside. A classic favorite of children and adults.
By- Last reviewed . Published Feb 7, 2011
Why we ❤️ it
Memelos (Dominican lollipops filled with coconut fudge), a childhood favorite, is one of those treats that we crave from a mixture of nostalgia and great memories.
These coconut lollipops were kids' favorites as an after-school treat some decades ago, although they didn't seem to be so common in my hometown. I found them more often when I was living in Santo Domingo, and never missed the chance to buy a couple because it might be a while until I found another vendor to satisfy my cravings.
In the course of my research, though, I found an interesting piece of information: these red Dominican lollipops are called memelos, jicacos, cacos or churumbeles. Those are regional names. I just knew them as caramelos rellenos de dulce.
Some people mistakenly call them "palitos de coco", though that's actually another type of Dominican candy. Or maybe that is another regionalism. Names are never a simple matter when it comes to food.
More often than not the ones I bought were filled with dulce de leche, or milk fudge, but sometimes made into these coconut lollipops, and those are by far my favorites.
Curiously, not long ago I learned about Tanghulu, a chinese dessert with a similar concept.
Memelos, churumbeles, cacos (Dominican lollipops).
About this recipe
Preparing them turned out easier than I originally imagined, and best of all, you can get more than a dozen from the ingredients listed. So how about you wrap them in some pretty film, tie a pretty ribbon and go spreading some sweetness and love amongst friends and co-workers?
I will be the first to tell you that making hard caramel is more difficult that it seems, hence my suggestion of using a thermometer. If you have some experience you will almost certainly be able to eyeball it, otherwise use a thermometer as you will have a hard time getting it right the first time.
You must also have to be careful, caramel gets very hot, and if you spill any on yourself you'll probably get badly burned. The same goes for the fudge. This might be a kids' favorite, but kids have no business in the kitchen while you're making them.
Having said that, I had a lot of fun making these, and so should you. And kids can help you wrap them. Little fingers come in handy when you need to tie those tiny bows.
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[Recipe + Video] Memelos (Dominican Lollipops Filled with Coconut Center)
- Silicone tray liner
For the caramel
You'll also need
- 16 lollipop sticks, or bamboo skewers cut in half
- Food-safe plastic film
- 1 yard of thin red ribbon
1. Making the filling
- Heat the condensed milk in a heavy-bottom pot or saucepan over medium heat. Simmer stirring vigorously until it thickens (like Greek yogurt), it has turned a light caramel color, and if you flip the spoon, it sticks to it.Add the dry coconut, and stir to combine. Remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature on a silicone liner (or greased tray).
2. Making coconut balls
- Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, cover your hands with a bit of oil. Place a tablespoon of the mixture in the palm of your hands and form balls with it.Insert the candy sticks into the balls. Set them aside.
3. Making the hard caramel
- Mix sugar, flavoring, coloring, water, and syrup in a saucepan and boil over medium heat. Insert a food thermometer at the beginning and remove the saucepan from the fire when it reaches 265 °F [130°C].
4. Covering the balls
- Immediately cover the balls in the hot caramel and place them on the silicone liner to cool. If the cover is too thin you can do a second pass starting with the first lollipop.If the caramel starts to harden before you finish return to the fire until it melts again. Be careful not to go too far or it will burn.Let them cool to room temperature before eating.
5. Serving and storing
- Serve right after they cool down, or store in a tight-fitting plastic tray at room temperature. You can also wrap them in food-safe plastic and decorate per instructions above the recipe
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
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