Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Quick Lemon-Coconut Fudge

Quick Lemon-Coconut Fudge

Sure to please Easter bunnies everywhere!

One of our favorite flavors is lemon. And coconut. OK, that’s two flavors.

So why not combine them? That’s what we did in this quick and easy lemon-coconut fudge.

It’s perfect for Easter, which is this Sunday (March 27). This fudge comes together in minutes, and you can even shape the pieces into little Easter eggs if you like. Kids of all ages will be delighted.

You probably have all the ingredients for this recipe on hand, too, so you don’t need to make a special trip to the supermarket. Which will allow you to avoid all those commercial Easter candies. This year, your peeps won’t need Peeps.



Quick Lemon-Coconut Fudge

Recipe: Quick Lemon-Coconut Fudge

Like most of our favorite fudge recipes, this one isn’t traditional. Traditional fudge recipes call for sugar, butter, milk, and usually additional ingredients (chocolate is a favorite, of course).  You heat the sugar mixture on top of the stove, and then mix in the butter by hand.

Most of us don’t make fudge the old-fashioned way anymore because it’s too time consuming. Plus, making a traditional-style fudge is challenging because you have to control two tricky variables: water content and sugar crystallization. Both are easy to mess up, and it’s a bummer if you do. Which, for most of us, is when we do.

So we generally make fudge in the microwave–or with a mixer (as we do in this recipe). An aunt of Mrs. Kitchen Riffs taught her this quick candy-making method decades ago. It’s not fudge in the classic sense, but something more like cake frosting on steroids. And it’s outrageously delicious (better than traditional fudge, in our opinion).

This recipe requires about 10 to 15 minutes of active time. Then you need to cool the fudge in the refrigerator (so it can solidify) before you shape or cut it.  Figure on about two hours for that (you can speed things up a bit by putting it in the freezer for a few minutes). 

Yield depends on how large you cut the pieces, but figure about five dozen 1-inch pieces.  Leftovers keep for a week or so if refrigerated in an airtight container (or you can freeze them).

Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 14 ounces sweetened, flaked coconut
  • zest and juice of 1 or 2 large lemons (see Notes)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ~1½ pounds powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • additional powdered sugar for coating fudge pieces (optional)
Procedure
  1. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave or in a saucepan over low stovetop heat. If using a microwave, cover the container with a lid. Microwave in increments of one minute until the butter is fully melted.
  3. Pour the melted butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large mixing bowl, if using a hand mixer). Add the coconut and mix to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice, along with the vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  4. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until well combined. 
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate until well chilled (you can even stick it in the freezer for half an hour or so to speed the process along). When the mixture is firm and chilled, cut it into pieces of about 1 inch square.
  6. Alternatively, if you’d like to create Easter eggs: Form tablespoon-sized dollops of the chilled fudge mixture into rounds balls, then shape the balls into ovoids by pulling gently on the ends with your fingers. Roll each “egg” in powdered sugar to coat.
Quick Lemon-Coconut Fudge
Fudge dough shaped into Easter eggs

Notes
  • We generally use 2 lemons in this recipe, since we like a “lemon forward” flavor. If you’d prefer just a hint of lemon, use only one.
  • The easiest way to zest lemons (i.e., grate their outer skins) is with a Microplane grater.
  • Be sure to use high quality (pure) vanilla extract. Its flavor is so much better than the imitation kind.
  • Pure vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in a mixture of water and alcohol for several months. BTW, the FDA requires that pure vanilla extract contain at least 35% alcohol. If the label doesn’t say “pure,” that means it’s made from synthetic vanilla. The artificial kind is usually derived from the sapwood of several species of conifers—or from coal extracts! How appetizing (not).
  • The flavor of some imitation vanillas can be nasty. You don’t have to spend a fortune on pure vanilla extract, but getting decent quality does mean spending a bit more for something that’s not loaded with sugar or imitation flavoring. Do yourself a favor and get the real stuff. 
  • Confectioner’s sugar is also called powdered sugar or icing sugar. It’s made by grinding regular granulated sugar into a fine powder. It typically contains an anti-caking agent (usually cornstarch in the US). BTW, you’ll often see it rated XXX, 10X, etc. The more X’s, the more finely powdered the sugar.
  • Need some confectioner’s sugar in a hurry but don’t have any on hand? You can make it at home. The easiest way is to run regular granulated sugar through a clean coffee grinder or blender (the coffee grinder will do a better job). You can also use a mortar and pestle.
Quick Lemon-Coconut Fudge

Fudge Factor

“So Peter Cottontail is ready to hit the bunny trail,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Easter is almost here.”

“Glad you made this fudge early,” I said, taking another piece. “Wouldn’t want to disappoint the Easter Bunny.”

“Hope there’s some left by the time he gets here,” said Mrs K R, eyeing me as I reached for yet another piece.

“Just can’t resist,” I said. “The flavor is so intense. And I love the texture of the fudge you make. Especially the Chocolate Fudge with Nutella and the Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge. Though this mixer fudge is even better.”

“It’s similar to my Buttercream Candy Easter Eggs,” said Mrs K R. “But this is even easier to make.”

“And we’re talking lemon here,” I said. “I’m a lemon freak, as you know so well. It’s my favorite flavor. And I’ll never turn down coconut.”

“Lemon does have a cheerful flavor,” said Mrs K R. “It’ll brighten your mood.”

“Always has brightened mine,” I said. “Guess that’s why my mom called me sonny.”

Mrs K R shot me a look. “I think we need a lemon law for jokes.”

Happy Easter!

You may also enjoy reading about:
Chocolate Fudge with Nutella
Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge
Buttercream Candy Easter Eggs
Irish Potato Candy
Coconut Kisses (Macaroons)
Lemon Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies
Or check out the index for more recipes

102 comments:

  1. That's a whole lot of sugar, I do love lemon and coconut though!

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    1. Hi Mary, that IS a lot of sugar. And this is definitely sweet. You can probably cut down the amount of sugar a bit, but this is one of those recipes where you just eat a piece or two. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Hi John , what delicious flavors , Hmmm Hmmm good . My kids will enjoy making these . Thanks John ...pinning .
    Happy Easter Nee :)

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    1. Hi Nee, your kids will definitely enjoy making -- and consuming! -- these. :-) Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  3. Just looking at this makes me happy. Love the lemon and bright colors!

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    1. Hi Ashley, lemon has such a nice flavor, doesn't it? We love it! Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Fudge is a big favorite in our house, but we tend to do more chocolate than anything. However, this looks delicious and a great way to branch out flavor-wise. I could see this being a big hit for Easter (or anytime of the year). Thanks for sharing and Happy Easter to you and Mrs. KR.

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    1. Hi SG, we do chocolate most of the time, too, but I really love lemon, so sometimes Mrs KR makes that. :-) Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  5. John, you are so clever! This looks and sounds fantastic, all my favorite flavors combined into a 'fudge'. Yum :) Pat

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    1. Hi Pat, isn't this great? Mrs KR outdid herself! Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Oh I'm loving this recipe! I shall try to make one for Easter! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Peachy, you'll love this! It's SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. I have not bought my Easter sweets yet and I was thinking of making my own but had not found an inspiration...till now. I think lemon and coconut sounds so tropical, it is a combo I love. Thank you for the recipe and I am sure the recipients will say Thanks too!

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    1. Hi Evelyne, I'll bet your recipients will definitely be grateful! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. I'm awarding you the James Beard award for best Easter idea. :) Plus this sounds so fresh and wonderful. Thanks for sharing this one John.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, why thank you for the award! :D This really is good stuff -- you (and your peeps) will love it. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I'm going to make this for my Mother who loves the lemon coconut flavor combo. Every time we get together, she asks me to make a coconut cake with lemon curd filling. This will be much easier! Thank you, Mrs. KR, and her aunt for a great recipe. --Rocquie

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    1. Hi Rocquie, your mom is going to LOVE these! Really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Hi John, what a clever idea making these into an egg shape, this would be a big hit at my house. Love lemon!!!

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    1. Hi Cheri, the egg shapes are fun! But no matter how you shape them, their flavor is wonderful. Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Such a lovely combination, John. My lemons are still growing. Bookmarking this for later.

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    1. Hi Lizzy, isn't this nice? Truly terrific flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. What a wonderful combination John these are certainly tasty Easter treats and look so pretty as well. You have inspired me to create a different sweet treat. Happy Easter to you and Mrs KR :D

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    1. Hi Merryn, tasty is what these are all about! Just love lemon. And coconut. :-) Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  13. Coconut is for me an Easter-time flavor. One relative used to make a cake in a lamb mould that was frosted and garnished with coconut. There must have been other ones too. We shouldn't eat too much of such treats, but it sounds delicious.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, we've never made a cake using one of those lamb molds, but have had them before, often. They always looks so nice, don't they? And taste great! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Hi John:)
    You know, I never think to combine lemon and coconut. You know I'm a lemon lover like you but for some reason coconut just never springs to mind.

    I may just need to whip these up. I can guarantee Marion will eat most of it so I don't have to worry about too many nibbles. Heck, it's Spring and Easter is around the corner. I'll splurge!!!

    Please tell Mrs. K.R. thanks for sharing her recipe:) Happy Easter!

    P.S. thanks for reminding me about that egg white powder. I know I wrote it down but I'll be darn if I could find it. Safely saved now:)

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    1. Hi Louise, coconut plays so well with lemon. Just wait until you try them -- they're wonderful. Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  15. Oh my goodness, I've never had lemon fudge. It sounds like the perfect Spring treat! Happy Easter to you and Mrs. Riffs!

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    1. Hi Robyn, lemon fudge is da bomb! So, so good -- really excellent flavor. Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  16. THIS looks insanely tasty... However, I am not really a lemon fan so I could try it maybe with LIMES :)

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    1. Hi GiGi, I'll bet lime would be fantastic in this! Gotta try that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors, too. I wonder if you could thin this out and use it as a frosting?

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    1. Hi Jeff, you could definitely thin this out and use it as a frosting. It'd be excellent! Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Happy Easter to you, John! This would sure put some sunshine in my day! Never have seen it made this way. Quite interesting!

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    1. Hi Abbe, isn't this fun? Easy? Quick? All of which makes it dangerous. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I bet this fudge is delicious! I love the combination of lemon and coconut - yummy!

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    1. Hi Tricia, this is truly good stuff. And lemon and coconut rock! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Hi John,

    Great recipe and nice to know these fudge can be transformed into Easter eggs too.

    Happy nom nom and happy Easter :)

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe, it's fun making these into Easter eggs! :-) Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  21. This lemon fudge sounds fantastic. I am a lemon lover too! I love who easy this recipe is. Sounds great for Easter or anytime. I hope you have a wonderful Easter!!

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    1. Hi Dawn, you'll just love this fudge! So easy, so good. :-) Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  22. Sinful... and have some of my fave flavors: coconut and lemon.

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    1. Hi Denise, this really is sinful. Who says sin is bad? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I am so MAKING THIS! AMAZING!

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    1. Hi Marcela, you'll love this! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. This looks super delicious with lovely combination of flavors!

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    1. Hi Kushi, this really is delish! SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. My mouth is watering with the thought of having a bite of this lemony fudge...looks so pretty...perfect for Easter.
    Hope you are having a great week John :)

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    1. Hi Juliana, this is truly good stuff. :-) Really deep flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I love homemade fudge. I enjoy making it the old fashioned way but it can definitely be finicky. The microwave is awesome for a quick treat and consistently good results.

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    1. Hi Laura, the traditional way does give a better fudge, but this method is really, really good. Definitely worth making! Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I've never thought of making lemon fudge---but it sure is a lot more tempting than Peeps, etc. Happy Easter!

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    1. Hi Liz, those Peeps have kind of an odd appeal (their texture is a bit weird, but kind of compelling). But this lemon fudge is MUCH better. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. I'm not a big fan of fudge usually. I think because it's usually just SOOO sweet. But the generous amount of lemon you have in this one has me rethinking my stance on fudge. ;)

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    1. Hi Carolyn, this is pretty sweet stuff, actually, but you're right about the lemon helping to cut that. It's good stuff! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. This looks amazing, great combination of flavours!

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    1. Hi Caroline, isn't this nice? Really intense flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. LOVE this fudge, John! My two favorite flavors to cook or bake with are lemons and coconut. It looks super creamy. I've only attempted to make fudge once. It turned out to be a sheet of glass! I am definitely going to give your method a try. And Mrs. KR's microwave peanut butter fudge is calling my name, too!

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    1. Hi Anne, that peanut butter fudge is awesome. But lemon freak as I am, this is my favorite. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. I am right there with you on the lemon and coconut ... all the way! YUM!

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    1. Hi Judy, yup, great combo, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. This is a super killer recipe packed with sugar.. but honestly lovely for celebrations when you go wild on sugars for the day :). I've never tried making fudge before or eating it!!!. This is a wonderful recipe John.

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    1. Hi Amira, this has a TON of sugar in it. :-) And you can reduce it a bit (although you have to be careful about the consistency of this -- sugar impacts texture). But this is fudge! Which is really sweet. Hence, the sugar. Totally worth it. Just eat 2 pieces at a time and you'll be OK. If you can ration yourself to just 2! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. This is very unusual combination for me.. Will definitely give it a try

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    1. Hi Priya, this is an unusual fudge. But awfully good! Tons of flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. That is a very unique and fool proof method to make fudge. I have never made fudge before because I didn't want to deal with all the confection making skill building required. But this!! OH yes! I will make this. Thank you for yet another fool proof recipe. You guys rock.

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    1. Hi Ansh, this really is no-fail. And the flavor is magnificent! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. Lemon is a favourite flavour on this side of the border too, particularly in our house! And it's such a spring flavour too! I usually make lemon squares which also combines lemon and coconut but I'm just loving this recipe, will definitely be trying it soon. BTW Costco Canada has a very good pure vanilla extract and it doesn't break the bank, but I usually ask a friend to bring me back some from Mexico.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi Eva, good tip on the Costco vanilla! I'll bet you'll love this -- such wonderful lemon flavor. We're addicted. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. Your fudge looks absolutely delightful! I'd love to give it a try - the flavours are so unique. Happy Easter to you and Mrs. KR!

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    1. Hi Beth, the flavor of this is awesome! Really good stuff. :-) Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  37. Since I've always found the frosting to be the best part of the cake, I'm all over frosting on steroids! Coconut and lemon does sounds like a pretty awesome combination and looks like it makes a great fudge! Great recipe! Thanks and have a Happy Easter!

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    1. Hi MJ, I'm with you -- frosting is awesome, isn't it? As is this fudge. :-) Happy Easter, and thanks for the comment.

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  38. Happy Easter John , Mrs. KR and all the little Kitty Riffs .
    :) Nee

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    1. Hi Nee, thanks for the Easter greetings. Kitty Riffs is hoping to get a real bunny to chase. :-) Happy Easter!

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  39. Lemon and coconut are two of MY favorite flavors too. I would never have thought to make a fudge. Awesome!

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    1. Hi Kristi, this truly is terrific fudge! SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  40. I would do anything to avoid the commercial Easter products! I much rather eat homemade sweets.
    These look fabulous!
    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

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    1. Hi Julie, these are REALLY good! Definitely worth making. No peeps for us this year! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  41. This looks really nice, I love simple sweet treats like this

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    1. Hi Raymund, simple is good! At least that's what Mrs KR is always telling me. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  42. I love lemon more than I do chocolate treats so this little fudge is right up my alley. So easy to make too! I hope that Easter bunny was good to you! Wishing you a super holiday week.

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    1. Hi Bam, although I love chocolate, lemon is my real weakness. You'll love this -- such great flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  43. Oh my gosh! This is tooo much, lemon and coconut! My faves for sure over chocolate any day. This is a must try. I'm drooling; thanks for the recipe, John!

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    1. Hi Pam, this is wonderful stuff! You'll love it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  44. Coconut was not served very often when I was a boy. As a result, although I like it, I rarely select it when a cheesecake or chocolate confection is being offered. Seeing it used here in lemony fudge, is really quite new to me, BUT, I am a sucker for lemon-flavored anything. These brownies just have to be good! Thanks, John, and I hope you and Mrs KR shared a wonderful Easter.

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    1. Hi John, we had a great Easter, and hope you did, too! Lemon is awesome, isn't it? I'm a sucker for it too! And it really works well with the coconut -- good combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  45. Very interesting! It's actually my first time (I think) to see fudge that's not chocolate. I love coconut (anything coconut!) and the lemon was such a pleasant surprise. Hope you two had a nice Easter holiday. xo

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    1. Hi Nami, we love chocolate, but lemon is SO good! And it works really well in this fudge. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  46. Hmmm... I am just thinking how great these flavors would be on a white cake topped with more coconut for Easter (next year) dessert! Love the flavor combo!

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    1. Hi Debra, it's a wonderful flavor combo! And it'd be terrific on a cake. :-) Guess we'll have to wait until next year to see that! Thanks for the comment.

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  47. I love lemon and coconut too so I KNOW I would absolutely love this fudge, John. It looks terrific.

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    1. Hi Pam, if you love lemon, this fudge is for you. Really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  48. Hi John! This fudge looks fantastic! I love anything lemon and I also love coconut so this is perfect for my sweet tooth!
    Hope you had a lovely Easter and that you left some of this fudge for the Easter bunny.

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    1. Hi Nazneen, this is wonderful! A real treat for those of us who like lemon. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  49. This sounds so rich and tempting! I just love the tropical combination of lemon and coconut so great for spring time. Can't wait until I have a chance to try it!

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    1. Hi Marcelle, this is such a wonderful fudge! The lemon flavor really shines in this, and the coconut adds a nice undertone of flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  50. "Frosting on steroids"...say no more! Lemon and coconut are divine together. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Easter!

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    1. Hi Hannah, lemon and coconut are a wonderful combo, aren't they? And this fudge is just excellent. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  51. This one is perfect for my sweet craving. Drooling over. Wish i could get a bite of it

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    1. Hi Smitha, this definitely satisfies a sweet craving! Very rich and flavorful. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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