Although the big holiday event has come and gone already, there is still one more in the near future. New Year's Eve is another reason to get together with your friends, sharing memories and good food. Unlike the night before Thanksgiving, which is the biggest day to go out and party, New Year's Eve is the biggest day to party at someone's house. And although I don't have plans as of yet, I'm sure New Year's Eve will find me surrounded by good friends and fun.
If you're looking for a quick and easy dessert idea for another upcoming event, this is a winner. The macaroons are amazingly quick to make (my batch took about 20 minutes, from start to cooling time) and the cardamom adds a lovely exotic flavor. This recipe is courtesy of one of my new favorite cookbooks, In Nirmala's Kitchen.
The coquito is a recipe courtesy of a coworker of mine. Coquito is a traditional Puerto Rican holiday beverage and is a tasty variation of eggnog. Although I'm not wild about the traditional eggnog, this one is definitely delicious and bang-dead easy to make.
Cardamom Coconut Macaroons
Makes about 16 large cookies
2 1/2 c unsweetened grated coconut
1/4 c sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 large pinches salt
2 large egg whites
In a large bowl, combine coconut, milk, cardamom, and one pinch of salt. Stir well with a wooden spoon until evenly combined. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine egg whites and pinch of salt; beat with mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into coconut mixture until just combined.
Drop 1 tbsp of batter onto parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between cookies. With wet hands, mold into mounds. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, until edges are starting to brown. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks. If desired, cookies are wonderful drizzled with melted dark chocolate.
1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
1 (15 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can coconut water
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 egg yolks (optional)
8 oz rum, either white or coconut (optional)
Empty all 4 cans into blender. Process until well mixed. Add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and egg yolks, if using. Blend well. Add rum, stir well, and allow to sit in the refrigerator overnight. If mixture is too thick, add milk or more coconut milk to thin.