I am SUPER excited about the holidays. I’ve been belting out “Sleigh Ride” since September with no shame in my holiday game.
I celebrate the holidays with childlike excitement. I’m the one who rushes to decorate the tree immediately after Thanksgiving dinner, then proudly struts around, covered in ornament glitter, all the way up until New Year’s Eve.
What I love most about the holidays is the time spent with family. While we may see a few relatives throughout the year, during the holidays we’re able to spend time with everyone. Our voices and laughter rise above the music playing in the background as we sip on coquito, the Latino version of eggnog. The scent of pernil (slow-roasted marinated pork shoulder), with its glistening, crackling skin, permeates the air as the cheese of the lasagna melts and bubbles in the oven. Steaming arroz con gandules (a traditional holiday rice dish) is placed on a table near the twinkling tree lights, giving the room a magical, smoky glow.
We eat and drink and laugh (loudly). Finally, I line up my parade of holiday desserts. EVERY face in the room lights up. It is my time to SHINE. Amid the gooey cakes and buttery cookies, I take the flavors of coquito—coconut, warm spices and rum—and transform them into dessert. This year, I baked those same flavors into gluten-free Latino Eggnog Macaroons. Taking only minutes to prep, these compact little beauties taste just like coquito. It is a treat so simple, yet so memorable, it will be woven into the tapestry of holiday conversation—the one punctuated by loud voices and laughter.
Click here for the full recipe: Latino Eggnog Macaroons