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Puerto Ricans make a traditional drink at Christmas that's somewhat like eggnog but better.  Daughter Cathy's boss sent us a bottle.  If you like coconut, it is out of this world, but lethal.  It sneaks up on a person like good eggnog.  We enjoyed it greatly.  I got another bottle but limit myself to a very small shot glass a day.  It's seriously habit-forming - not because of the alcohol but because of the flavor.  So here's a non-alcoholic compromise, and you can make it in minutes.

Coquito Pudding

1 can of coconut milk
milk,or coconut milk, enough to make 3 cups liquid
6 Tbsp. sugar or equivalent sugar substitute
5 Tbsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. rum extract

Shake the can of coconut milk well; pour into a quart measure. Scrape out any cream that has stuck to the can or lid, and add to the milk.  Add enough (cow's or coconut) milk to make a total of 3 cups of liquid.  If you use skim or low fat milk, a tablespoon or two of butter or coconut cooking oil adds greatly to the flavor (also the calories).  Pour all but about 3/4 cup of the milks into an microwave-proof container or Pyrex or Corningware dish that will hold at least 4 cups.  If you add the optional butter or coconut oil, do so now. Set it to microwave for 5 minutes.

Add sugar, corn starch, cinnamon and egg yolks to the remaining 3/4 cups of milk.  Beat well with a whisk or fork until no lumps remain.

If the milk in the microwave isn't boiling, continue to heat until it boils.  Pour a small amount into the 3/4 cup mixture, beating constantly.  Then, still beating or whisking, slowly pour the sugar/cornstarch mixture into the hot milk.  Return to the microwave and heat for 1 minute intervals, whisking between each interval.  When it has come to a boil twice, and is fairly thick, it's done.   Add vanilla and rum extracts and whisk well.  Let cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate.

This can be served plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.


The Sneaky Kitchen
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