It all started when my mother brought her yearly gift to us: a bottle of homemade coquito (literally translated as little coconut). Coquito is a traditional Puerto Rican holiday drink and it is customary for family and friends to exchange bottles of coquito throughout the holiday season. It is also customary to offer guests a shot of coquito when they visit during the holidays. Well, I suppose it was the taste of the coquito that started me on a month long coconut extravaganza. Actually it hasn't been quite a month, but in the last few weeks I've been making coconut treats as a way of bringing some of the balmy spirit of a Caribbean Christmas to our New England home.
How to make coquito? (my mother's recipe)
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 can condensed milk
1 can cream of coconut
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1 cup of white or dark rum (adjust to your liking)
2 shots tequila (adjust to your liking)
**adjust recipe to your desire quantity
Then I found this recipe for Coconut Snowballs and I just had to try it!
Truly amazing and easy to make! These get 5-stars from us (they taste like a healthier version of dulce de coco).
And I still wanted even more coconut treats so I found a recipe for a coconut pound cake but tweaked it and made coconut bread instead. So GOOD, and specially with a cup of coffee!
My Coconut Bread Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (toast on the stove ahead of time)
3 tablespoon coconut oil (melt on the stove ahead of time)
What to do?
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour your pound cake pan. Add your dry ingredients into a bowl whisk them together. In another bowl, add the coconut oil and sugar and mix using a electric mixer then add the eggs one at a time, add the vanilla and mix until it all comes together and is slightly fluffy. Then add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, adding a bit of buttermilk each time and mixing in between each addition. Finally, fold in the toasted coconut into the mixture. Add the mixture to pan and bake for 50 minutes or until knife inserted into it comes out clean.
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
What to do?
Toast the shredded coconut on the stove. In a bowl, add the sugar, buttermilk and butter or oil together and beat with mixer until it thickens. Once your bread has cooled add the frosting and sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.
I am wishing you a very coconut Christmas 2013!