The holidays don’t officially start until the coquito gets made in my house! I have spent several years revamping, fixing and tweaking the recipe and have finally felt that it was just right. Coquito screams “Joy” it means spending time with family and friends. It means forgetting about all our problems and having a moment to just be . It means, I can carry a gift to someone and see them smile in appreciation. It means I can contribute something to a meal, a party, a gather. Coquito evokes the feeling of belonging, like a clan, a group, a coven, a family. So in full food magic form, Coquito making is a well calculated ritual performed on a specific day, and an almost specific time. The music has to be just right and the kitchen has to include all of my ritual participants ( my hubby opening cans, my daughter bouncing around getting in the way and the dog, totally underfoot causing mayhem. The scene may look chaotic but the energy is euphoric. I stir my giant black cauldron and mix away, adding ingredients as needed, invoking the spirit of happiness and guiding it through my hands into my mixture in the hopes of reaching all those who will consume it… So mote it be!!
Every thanksgiving I visit my mother and grandmother (she’s 96 and a firecracker). I ask mom “Hey, what should I bring?” and her response is the same. “You don’t have to bring anything just come! We always welcome anything you want to contribute but please, don’t forget to bring your grandmother coquito!!!” . I laugh and say “I would never forget!” My grandmother was never a drinker in her youth and always vehemently opposed its consumption in her presence but coquito… that doesn’t count at all! My greatest joy is pulling out those bottles and her face lighting up.
The first round is over and as we get closer to Christmas I need to make a new batch, I love to gift these and do drive by drop offs! With the last bit hanging out in my fridge, no one daring to take the last sip, I decided to use it for a cookie and boy was it worth it! Check out the recipe below! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! Happy Baking!
Makes about 36
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup +1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup coquito
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup sugar, for rolling
½ tsp cinnamon, for rolling
In a large bowl or in a standing mixer with a paddle, combine butter and sugar and cream until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl often. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.
In another bowl soft flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour to butter mixture, alternating with the coquito until fully incorporated. (dough will be soft, and batter like)
Shape into logs using plastic wrap or put into a container and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until it has hardened enough to scoop. (if you’re in a hurry, you could put it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Working in batches, use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and form a ball, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to set and starts cracking. Remove from the oven and let cool.
*If your coquito contains eggs/eggnog then cut back to only 1 egg
If you make these, please #foodmagic and #gourmetwitch_cookbooks I would love to see how yours come out!