Baking my mom’s Trinidad Coconut Roll always reminds me of growing up on the beautiful Caribbean island.
Growing up in Trinidad we didn’t buy much candies. It just wasn’t in our family’s budget to get expensive candies. One thing I remember growing up there is the number of sweets my mom used to bake for us every week. My dad however was always planting all kinds of fruit trees so we always had something to snack on.
This year for Christmas my sister challenged us to focus on recipes that reminded us of home. Ones we grew up with and enjoyed all year round. She however had a handy Caribbean recipes cookbook and I only had my Coconut Milk Fudge recipe that I’ve mastered, well aside from Curry Chicken.
However, for family occasions, my mom always makes the Curry Chicken and fudge was a no-brainer for me. I wanted to try something different so I started searching the web for a recipe for coconut tarts.
Living in Trinidad we had two coconut trees in our yard, so we would use freshly grated coconuts for this recipe but since I didn’t want to waste time looking for them in the store I purchased Baker’s Grated Coconut in the packs. It worked perfectly with the recipe.
The key to pulling this recipe off well is the amazing short dough crust. When I started looking for recipes online I could only find tarts like mini tarts baked similar to a pie. That wasn’t what I wanted.
I couldn’t rely on my mom for help with the recipe because, since her stroke, she doesn’t remember most of the meals she prepared back when we lived there. I searched and searched till I found the perfect recipe I could tweak to make the dough for the rolls.
With this dough you can either use it to make rolls or cut them in rounds to make tarts. I liked making the rolls because it seemed like I ended up with more. One bit and I was instantly back in Trinidad, as a young girl in my mother’s kitchen.
I couldn’t wait to take these to my family’s Christmas dinner. I knew they would be a hit with my family. My brother was the first to take a roll, since he had to leave early. Once everyone tasted them they were gone before I knew it.
These are super easy to make and they store well in an air-tight container. It doesn’t require too many ingredients, so it’s a very affordable treat to make for your family. Check out the recipe below and if you grew up on these and try the recipe let me know how it goes.
Trinidad Coconut Roll Recipe
Baking my mom's Trinidad Coconut Roll always reminds me of growing up on the beautiful Caribbean island.
- For Crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick of butter/margarine cut into cubes
- 4 tablespoons of ice water
- For Filling
- 1 Package Baker's Shredded Coconut
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Put flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Add butter and quickly cut it into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add ice water and mix briefly, about 30 seconds, to form a soft dough. Remove dough, shape into a thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Bring to cool room temperature before rolling.
- While the dough is resting mix the shredded coconut, brown sugar, water and nutmeg together in a pot. Let it boil for about 20 minutes on low. Stir occasionally.
- When you're ready to bake the rolls. Preheat the oven on 350 degrees.
- To roll, lightly flour dough on counter. Roll out gradually, periodically letting dough rest for a moment before continuing. This makes rolling easier and will keep dough from shrinking back during baking.
- Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick and fill with the coconut filling. Roll over folding in the ends as you go. Use a fork to lightly stick the top of the dough and brush with an egg wash.
- Bake on a baking sheet for 35 minutes until golden brown. Check the rolls around 25 minutes to make sure the bottoms is not burning. Line the sheet with parchment paper since the filling may spill from the roll. This makes for easier cleanup.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into 2 inch pieces. Cut diagonally and serve. Store rolls in an air tight container.