Grandma’s recipe for coconut bon bons feature a sweet buttery center and chocolate shell. You can make them with or without nuts for an indulgent and delicious treat.
These classic bon bons have a sweet coconut filling that almost melts in your mouth. If you like making homemade candies, this is a recipe you have to try!
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My grandma recently entrusted me with her recipe box. She is cooking less and she knew I would think it was a treasure.
So I have been working my way through the yellowed newspaper clippings and hand written recipe cards. It is so fun to see some of the old fashioned recipes and also the origins of some classics my family still loves.
This recipe for bon bons caught my eye. They would be a tasty addition to your Christmas candy menu, or make them for Easter like I did.
Really, they are perfect for anytime. The recipe makes a lot though, so you may want to plan to share. (Or don’t, I’m not judging!)
Making the Coconut Bon Bon Filling
The filling is actually pretty simple to make. It just takes a few ingredients and there is a chance you already have most of them in your pantry.
My first tip would be to use a bigger bowl than I did. I imagined the powdered sugar would shrink more than it did, so go ahead and get out one of your biggest mixing bowls.
Melt the butter and add the powdered sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Get that mixed up before adding the coconut and nuts.
My grandma’s recipe card said to mix with your hand. I assumed that meant mix it by hand, using a spatula.
However, the mixture is really stiff. So it really is easiest to use your hand to do the mixing.
I found a kneading motion worked well to get everything incorporated. It seemed like it might not come together, but it eventually did.
The recipe cards calls for making hickory nut sized balls. I opted to use a small cookie scoop to make 1 Tablespoon sized balls, but you can really make any sized bon bons you would like.
For a smooth finish, I rolled each ball between my palms for a couple of seconds to smooth them out. This also ensure the filling is compacted and won’t fall apart.
My husband doesn’t like nuts, so I scooped out a tray of filling without. Then I added chopped pecans to the second half of the batch.
Both versions are absolutely delicious. Chill the balls of filling in the refrigerator or freezer for about a half hour before dipping them in chocolate.
Dipping the Bon Bons
This recipe makes about 70 bon bons, so I opted to melt the chocolate in a double boiler so it would stay warm as I worked. You can also melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl if that is your preferred method.
Grandma’s recipe called for adding paraffin to chocolate. I just used melting chocolate that is designed for dipping things in.
You can temper chocolate or even melt chocolate chips with a bit of shortening if that is your preference. However you like to coat your candies works here.
Substitutions and Alterations
As I said earlier, I omitted the nuts for half of the batch and they were amazing. You can also change up the nuts.
I used pecans this time, but you could use almonds for more of an Almondy Joy type candy. Walnuts would be wonderful as well.
You could even try using dried fruit in place of the nuts if you want. Chopped dried cherries would give more of a Martha Washington candy type feel.
A splash of vanilla would be great in the filling. Or use almond extract to play up the nutty quality of the filling.
Really you can experiment with the filling as much as you want. Just make sure it is sturdy enough to be rolled into balls that will hold their shaped when being dipped.
How do you store homemade bon bons?
These bon bons can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week. Just keep the container in a cool, dark spot if you can. You can keep the container in the refrigerator for several weeks if you prefer or even freeze them for several months.
More Great Homemade Candy Recipes
For a slightly gooier coconut filling, try making my homemade mounds recipe. It also features coconut and chocolate but the texture of the filling is different.
Of course you can make peanut butter bon bons too. We like making them as buckeyes, but you can dip the whole ball instead of allowing some of the filling to show if you want.
Strawberry buttercream bon bons are a fun way to enjoy that chocolate dipped strawberry flavor. The center is bursting with berries and is so creamy and delicious.
We also enjoy making orange cheesecake bon bons. There is just something special about biting through a chocolate shell and finding a creamy filling inside.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!
Coconut Bon Bons
- ½ cup butter
- 2 lbs. powdered sugar
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 14 oz shredded coconut
- 2 cups chopped nuts optional
- 24 oz. melting chocolate
- Melt butter in a large bowl. Stir in powdered sugar and sweetened condensed milk. It will look like it's not going to come together.½ cup butter, 2 lbs. powdered sugar, 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- Add the coconut and chopped nuts if using. Use your hands to make the filling uniform. A kneading motion is a good way to bring it all together.14 oz shredded coconut, 2 cups chopped nuts
- Roll into balls and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. A small cookie scoop is a good way to portion the filling, but you can make the balls any size you would like.
- Chill the coconut centers for at least 30 minutes. Or freeze them for at least 15 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave safe bowl.24 oz. melting chocolate
- Dip each ball of coconut filling into the melted chocolate. Use your favorite dipping method, but using a fork works well. Coat the ball in chocolate, tap the fork on the edge of the bowl a couple of times to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Then transfer the dipped ball back onto the wax paper to set up.
- Once the chocolate is set, transfer to an airtight container for storage.