Kahlua Sunrise

View from the Mayan Ruins, Tulum

My family and I landed at the Toronto airport late last night in our sandals, sundresses and shorts—and instantly missed the warm Mexican sun as we raced to our parked car.We just spent a wonderful week at a resort called Dreams Riviera Cancun located in Puerto Morelos, just outside of Cancun. It was everything I could have hoped for in a vacation—relaxing and luxurious with lots of great food and drinks.

I never really adjusted to the two-hour time difference, and woke up around 5 a.m. most mornings. This turned out to be a great advantage, as the best lounge chairs at the pool and beach were already claimed (with a towel or personal item) by 5:30 a.m. I couldn’t believe it actually—but it helped to remind me of something I’d forgotten…

Sunrise in Mexico

How inspirational it can be to watch the sun come up.

I was also inspired by the many tropical flavour combinations that I enjoyed over the week—lime, cilantro and chili (ceviche); watermelon and mint (mojitos); cucumber and mint (granita); and coconut (ice cream) and Kahlua.

One day soon I’ll recreate the shrimp ceviche that I had almost every day for lunch, but in the meantime, I’ve recreated the dish—coconut ice cream and kahlua—that was introduced to me by one of the waiters at Oceana, my favourite restaurant at the resort. It is so simple, but the flavour combination is a keeper. It explains why I had this almost every day too!

Hopefully the effects of my vacation will last longer than a day or two. I know I’ll be thinking longingly of those magical sunrises as I get ready for work each morning. But I’m curious—what’s the most spectacular sunrise or sunset you’ve experienced in your travels?

Coconut Ice Cream Balls With Kahlua

  • ½ cup (approximately) good quality vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut (medium)
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tbsp Kahlua (according to taste)

Directions

  1. Using a small ice cream scoop, make three ice cream balls approximately 1-1/2 inches wide.
  2. Place the coconut on a small plate and roll each of the three balls around in the coconut.
  3. Place ice cream balls in a bowl or glass.
  4. Drizzle with the Kahlua.
  5. Enjoy!

UPDATE/NOTE:

  • I’ve updated the recipe to note that I suggest using medium shredded coconut, as this is what I used and it worked well. It is a finer coconut and the texture works for this recipe. I’m guessing you could also use another type of cocount and chop it finer (I will test this out shortly).

An Egyptian Cookie?

While we all know that there are pyramids in Egypt, I have abolutely no idea if coconut is used in Egyptian cooking. I do know that coconut baked in the shape of pyramids tastes bloody good. The only downside to this recipe is that it yields a smaller number of cookies than my other recipes. I’ve successfully managed to hide these from the ponytails and my husband. Fingers are crossed that it stays that way!

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Coconut Pyramids

Recipe from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies Magazine 2001

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate
  • ½ tsp solid vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix together sugar, coconut, egg whites and salt. Add butter and extracts, and combine well. Refridgerate at least 1 hour.

Moisten palms of hands with cold water. Roll 1 tbsp of the coconut mixture in palms, squeezing tightly together 2 or 3 times to form a compact ball. Place ball on a clean surface, and, using a bench scraper, flatten one side at a time to form a three-sided pyramid. Keep turning pyramid onto another side, and repeat process until sides are even and all edges are straight.

Place pyramids on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart bake until edges are golden brown about 15 minutes rotating halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool completely.

Place chocolate and shortening in a small heat-proof bowl or the top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water; stir occasionally until melted. Dip to ½ inch of each pyramid in the melted chocolate. Set each dipped macaroon on cooled baking sheet; let chocolate harden.