Literally cocada is the ultimate in coconut bark. It's a Mexican/Latin America candy/cookie that is bark-like--just like what I've made. It's very sweet, very coco-nutty, and I've always wanted to add a nut to it for texture and crunch. I've also wanted to add a tiny bit of heat to it as well, hence the spicy pecan. It is an oven baked goodie that is supposed to be served at room temp for chewy texture. And yes, it is very chewy, almost caramel like texture. If you have any loose teeth or fillings, think twice on chomping down on this one. The bark is a bit difficult to cut, you need a sharp, wet knife. The edges of the cocada are the best part; they get the most caramelization of the condensed milk paired with the coconut. Add in's are endless on this one--whatever would work with caramel flavor and coconut really.
adapted from http://scarlettabakes.com/cocada-simple-coconut-bark/
2-14 oz. cans sweetened, condensed milk (approximately 3 1/2 cups)
1-14 oz. bag of sweetened, flaked coconut (approximately 5 1/2 cups)
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5-7 oz of spicy, toasted pecans (optional but amazing)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line an 11” x 17” baking sheet with parchment paper. This is a very sticky candy/bark; non stick spray will NOT work—use parchment paper. Make sure to completely cover the baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, stir the condensed milk, corn syrup and vanilla together until well-blended. Fold in the coconut and spicy pecans. Mix well.
Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
Using a rubber scraper or wet fingers, push the mixture evenly across and into the corners of the pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes. Don’t let it burn. Check the cocada at the 25 minute mark.
The cocada will bubble as it bakes and turn a deep golden brown, with the edges becoming especially dark – it is done baking when the top appears golden throughout.
Allow the cocada to cool at room temp for a couple hours. Then I put it in the fridge to harden a bit before slicing.
Using a sharp, wet knife, slice the cocada into squares, carefully remove each piece from the parchment lining, and enjoy straight away or store in an airtight container.