Besitos de Coco Coconut or Cookie Recipe
From the Spanish Speaking Islands
My friend María Espada talks about the wonderful desserts she grew up enjoying in Puerto Rico. When I ask Dominicans about coconut cookies they say “ajá, besitos de coco,” and strangely enough when I asked my friend Verito from Santa Marta, Colombia, about galletas de coco she tells me the same…”you mean besitos de coco.”
Aren’t these coconut cookies supposed to be from the Caribbean Islands only? Well …we have to look a bit into their origin. Even though many sources cite indigenous origins I still think these tasty treats came from African slaves. Who knows… probably mixed with indigenous touches.
For sure desserts with coconut were a delicacy amongst plantation owners and slaves who enjoyed them on special occasions, as Andres Ramos Mateii PHD, explains in his paper “Los Habitos Alimenticios de la Poblacion Trabajadora en las Haciendas Azucareras de Puerto Rico, Siglo XIX.”
In South American countries, coconut recipes came from African slaves who arrived with Spanish and Portuguese conquerors, that is why I think we not only have besitos de coco in the Caribbean islands but also in countries like Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil that had black influence.
Besitos de coco are so popular that the great Puerto Rican singer Ismael Rivera immortalized a song with the name of this tasty treat amongst the Latin community in the U.S.
So here it is! The famous yet simple “kind of” Spanish coconut cookie recipe. I highly recommend it for Valentines either as a treat for your special loved one or to make it as a family with your children.
- 1 big dry coconut
- 4 Tbsp of butter
- 8 Tbsp of wheat flower
- 1/4 Tbsp of vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 4 egg yolks
How to Prepare:
- Pre-heat the oven at 350F
- Take the butter out of the fridge early so it is soft
- Wash and shred the pulp of the coconut. You need 3 cups.
- Combine the coconut with all the ingredients to form small balls with the mix.
- Place the balls in a glass baking dish (grease it before hand) or baking sheet.
- Bake the besitos for about 35 to 40 minutes until golden.