Coquito Jell-O Bites are all the ¡Salud! with none of the spills

Illustration for article titled Coquito Jell-O Bites are all the ¡Salud! with none of the spills
Graphic: Rebecca Fassola

Welcome to Jiggle All The Way, The Takeout’s holiday celebration of Jell-O, gelatin, and all things wiggly. We’ll be releasing new feature stories and original holiday recipes every day this week, and each of them will have a little bit of wobble.

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Coquito is just as much a part of Christmas as cookies, cocoa, and fruitcake. I’m not Puerto Rican, but I grew up in New York City, where every year a bottle of coquito would somehow find its way into the house thanks to a relative, a neighbor, a coworker, or some other beautiful soul who knows that it’s just the sort of magic we all need in our lives this time of year. You don’t have to worry about seeking out coquito, because if you’ve been good all year, coquito finds its way to you.

Colloquially known as Puerto Rican eggnog, coquito is so easy to make that living another day without it is practically inexcusable. The basic recipe is just coconut cream, coconut milk, and sweetened condensed milk blended together, after which coquito can be upgraded with rum, lime, spices, or a bit of all three. No matter how it’s gussied up, coquito is always perfection, so the idea of turning it into a seasonal Jell-O shot was guaranteed to be spectacular. And it is! Christmas just got merrier and jigglier, which is just the sort of thing we need this year.


Coquito Bites

Note: If you abstain from alcohol, replace the rum with water. It will be just as tasty!

For the coconut layer:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 (14-oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (14-oz.) can coconut cream
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

For the lime and rum layer:

  • 2 (3-oz.) packages lime Jell-O
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup white rum
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

First, make the coconut layer

In a small bowl, stir the milk and gelatin together until free of lumps. In a saucepan, stir together the coconut milk, evaporated milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, add the gelatin mixture, sweetened condensed milk, coconut cream, and vanilla, and use an immersion blender to mix until smooth.

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Line a 9x13" baking dish with plastic wrap. Pour the coconut mixture in, then cover the pan with a sheet of plastic wrap. (Do not press the plastic down onto the top.) Refrigerate, making sure the dish is level inside your fridge. Chill for at least 4 hours until firm.

Next, make the lime layer

Mix the Jell-O packets with boiling water until dissolved, then add the rum and heavy cream and stir. Pour the mixture on top of the set coconut layer, cover the baking dish with plastic, and refrigerate for several hours until firm. Sprinkle with toasted coconut to garnish.

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Allison Robicelli is a writer, recipe czar, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Tweet me for recipe help: @Robicellis.

DISCUSSION

LadyCommentariat
Lady Commentariat

When I first saw the header image, I though it was a pistachio layer, and now I want to try that.