Every Home Should Enjoy Coquito Cookies For The Holidays!!!
Growing up I spent a lot of my time split between New York and Puerto Rico. It was always interesting to me how there were similarities and differences between the two, when it came to the holidays. The big thing in common for Puerto Rican families in both places, is the importance of Coquito.
If you’re unfamiliar with the holiday drink, it’s a luscious creamy blend of various milks, coconut milks, rum, and spices. Many refer to it as Puerto Rican eggnog, though I hate having to equate ethnic dishes to European counterparts. In modern times people have begun making different flavors of Coquito, like pistachio, Nutella, and Oreo. I personally only like the original flavor. It’s one of the few times I’m a culinary traditionalist.
Of course even when talking about the traditional Coquito flavor, you have to embrace that every family has their own recipe. We all grew up using different spices, different rums, or different blends of milks.
What I really always loved about Coquito season was that everyone gave away bottles of it, similar to the way Americans give out holiday cookies. Sometimes in decorative bottles from the dollar store, more often in empty Bacardi bottles, or old milk jugs.
This year I wanted to embrace the flavor profile of Coquito, but translate that into cookie form. While cookie trading parties aren’t really a thing this year, this is definitely a fun recipe you can make on your own, or with your family. And it can be a fun treat to leave some for Santa, Los Tres Reyes, some fairies, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
The texture of these cookies is similar to a soft gingerbread. They are amazing fresh! But what I really love is that they are equally amazing 2 or 3 days later. They get slightly more stiff, but the spices really become more noticeable, and they are perfect for dipping in your cafecito. Which by the way, when did dipping things in coffee become not as trendy? Let’s bring that custom back!
My family was always very basic with the spices we used. Sometimes I would get my mother to experiment a little, but she always came back to our traditional way. So I decided to use those spices in this recipe. But I want to be clear that this recipe is written so that you can easily adjust the spices to whatever you enjoy. As it’s written now, the spices are not overbearing. This is also not an overly sweet recipe. You could easily decorate these with icing if you wanted to.
This recipe can also easily be converted into medicated edibles, but that will be talked about in another post.
Ultimately, while this cookie will definitely be a welcomed addition to your holiday baking, it is also a great cookie to have year round. Since it’s a fairly simple recipe, I definitely plan on baking a batch regularly.
After mixing your dough, you will want to chill it in the fridge for at least an hour. Then you’ll roll it out and use a cookie cutter. I used a round cutter for this batch, but feel free to go crazy with the shapes. The amount of cookies you get, will depend on the thickness you choose to roll to, and the size of your cookie cutter. I used a 3.5” round and was able to get 22 cookies from this batch. I also rolled the dough to about 1/3” thickness.
Before baking, there is the optional step of brushing on an “egg wash”. To give them a nice shine. Obviously we won’t be using actual egg, and this step can be skipped if you don’t care about having a shine. And if you plan to ice them, then don’t bother to brush on the wash.
Now let’s get to the recipe!
- 1 can Cream of Coconut (I use Coco Lopez)
- 1/4 cup Condensed Coconut Milk
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Rum Extract
- 1 1/2 tsp Coconut Extract
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Clove
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- Dash of Fine Sea Salt
- 4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 4 tbs Vegan Milk
- 2 tsp Agave Nectar
- In a bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together the shortening, condensed milk, and cream of coconut.
- Add in all other ingredients except the flour. Mix again with the hand mixer, until everything is combined.
- Now add in the flour. Use a rubber spatula to combine the mixture with the flour. You can also use your hand if you want to connect with the ingredients more.
- Once combined the dough will be sticky. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Once chilled remove the dough from fridge.
- Preheat oven to 375f
- Roll out a portion of the dough on a floured surface. Roll to about 1/3” thickness. Cut to desired shapes and place on baking sheet. Make sure to leave at least 1” of space around them. Repeat this process until all dough is used.
- Mix together the milk and agave for the vegan egg wash. More may need to be mixed depending on how many cookies you are baking.
- Brush the wash on top of the cut out cookie dough.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove and let cool before decorating or enjoying as they are.
- Try changing the spices. You can increase the ones listed, or try completely different ones.
- If your kitchen is very warm, chill the unused dough while you prepare each batch.
- Cream of Coconut is not the same thing as coconut cream. Please make sure you buy the right ingredient. This recipe will not work with coconut cream.