Well look no further...
Coconut, just like every other "nut" on the planet, only gets better when it's toasted.
How do you toast coconut? I am so glad you asked.
There are actually a couple of methods. One involves a baking sheet and an oven at 350 degrees, but I find this cumbersome, because you have to keep pulling the pan out of the oven and stirring it to prevent burning. Being one who is frequently lazy about putting in my contact lenses, I suffer from the dreaded back-draft of opening a hot oven and the consequential "steaming up" of my glasses. I find this annoying, to say the least.
Sooooo.... I use the stove top method. I figure since I am gonna have to stir it up anyway, I might as well use a skillet. Although it does take a few minutes longer, I tend to have MUCH better results.
And steam free glasses, of course. ;)
Place a large skillet over medium flame and add about 1 - 2 cups of shredded coconut. (Baker's sweetened or fresh coconut, it matters not)
Begin simply pushing the coconut around the pan, using a wooden utensil.
Slowly, it will change from white to a sort of beige color, keep stirring.
Then you will notice bits of coconut taking on a rich reddish brown color, keep stirring.
When most of the coconut has browned (there will still be a few pieces of non-toasted coconut in the mix) remove to a bowl and let it sit uncovered.
The residual heat left in the coconut will continue the toasting process. Voila!
Let it cool completely before storing in an air tight container. It should keep for about 1 week, if it does become soft, it can be re-warmed in a skillet to bring back it's crunchiness.
Honestly this is one of my favorite accompaniments to Ginger Gelato and Lime Sorbetto. But I shall have to wait for that until after this toasted coconut fulfills it's culinary destiny. Hopefully there will be just a little bit left over...