Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Besitos de Coco - Coconut Kisses #CreativeCookieExchange

Besitos de coco or coconut kisses are little bite-sized cookies that are popular in Venezuela and other South American countries, especially around Christmas time. Besitos are chewy and sweet, best baked till just golden.

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange theme of International Winter Holiday Cookies challenged the group to make a cookie that is traditional at this time of year in a culture other than our own. I fear I have a distinct advantage here because of all the places I’ve lived, so choosing a cookie was pretty easy. Venezuelans love their coconut and these little treats are popular, with or without the chocolate, which probably isn’t strictly traditional. But, since Christmas is coming, I thought it best to fancy them up. To that end, I also added a little rum. Delicious!

The recipe is based on one I found on Yo Soy Venezolano.

Ingredients for about 3 dozen cookies
3 1/2 cups or 300g flaked, desiccated coconut
1 can (14 oz or 405g) sweetened condensed milk (Not evaporated milk.)
1/2 cup or 65g flour
1 tablespoon dark or gold rum
1 teaspoon salt

Optional for decorating: 3/4 cup or 150g semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method
Preheat your oven to 350˚F or 180˚C and prepare your cookie sheet by lightly greasing or lining it with parchment or a silicon baking sheet. If you have two cookie sheets, prepare them both.

 In a large bowl, combine the coconut, condensed milk, flour, salt and rum.

Stir until well blended and you have a nice thick dough. If you are a fan of coconut and condensed milk, do not try the dough. It’s delicious and I cannot be responsible for how many cookies you end up with at the end.



Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets at least one inch apart. Try to keep them a bit rough looking so that the bits that stick out will brown first. A perfectly round ball won’t look as rustic or pretty.



Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the outside bits of coconut are toasted.



Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

If you are decorating with chocolate, warm the chocolate chips in a microwave, in a microwaveable bowl, by zapping them for 15-20 seconds at a time, until the chips are melted and you have a lovely drizzling consistency.

Drizzle the chocolate on the cooled besitos with a spoon or use a cake decorating piping bag.



Allow the chocolate to set before storing the besitos in a cool covered container. These make a great gift! What better thing to give someone for Christmas than a bunch of sweet kisses?

Yes, that's a Christmas deviled egg plate. Aren't you jealous?


Enjoy!



Check out all the other International Winter Holiday Cookies or what I've been calling Christmas Around the World in my head:
If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. 

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts. (You can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

My "fireplace" in Dubai. It flickers and there is a switch you can turn on to make it blow hot air. 
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