It’s Pina Colada Day!


Kim Scarborough, Wikimedia Commons

Celebrate Pina Colada Day with a refreshing tropical drink.

 

I shouldn’t be surprised there is a National Pina Colada Day, since just about every food or drink seems to be recognized with a special day or month. July 10 is the date for the fancy tropical drink.


I love the flavor, but must admit I am not a big fan of alcohol. It is not for any reason other than the fact that my body doesn’t blend well with things such as rum, brandy, vodka, whiskey (that actually does make me sick), tequila (instant headache), gin and other such hard liquors. I can have wine and beer, but rarely do.


Anyway, the flavor that a Pina Colada affords is very pleasing to me, and I’m sure I speak for many others. I will share a recipe for the actual mixed drink, but also wanted to add some recipes that focus on the flavors of pineapple, coconut and rum. Hopefully, you will find something very tasty to try.


Pina Colada


3/4 cup (6-oz.) pineapple juice


1/3 cup light or white rum (2 2/3-oz.)


1/4 cup cream of coconut (2-oz.) Coco Lopez brand is good


1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, optional


2 cups ice, approximately


Pineapple spears, for garnish, optional


1. In blender, combine pineapple juice, rum, cream of coconut, lime juice and ice. Blend until all ingredients are well mixed.


2. Serve in hurricane or highball glass, with a straw. Garnish, if desired, with a spear or wedge of pineapple. Makes 2 servings.


Hawaiian dessert


This is my adaptation of a recipe that has been around a while.


1 package (18 1/4-oz.) yellow cake mix


3 packages (3.4-oz. each) instant pudding mix, 1 vanilla, 1 cheesecake, 1 white chocolate


4 cups cold milk


1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract


1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract


1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened


1 can (20-oz.) crushed pineapple (well drained)


2 cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened


2 cups flaked coconut, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix cake batter according to package directions. Pour into 2 greased 9-by-13-inch baking pans. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the cakes test done; cool completely.


2. In a large mixing bowl, combine pudding mixes, milk and coconut extract; beat for 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat well. Stir in drained pineapple (draining for a while in a sieve, then giving it a few good squeezes works great).


3. Spread mixture over the cooled cakes; top with whipped cream and sprinkle with coconut. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.


Pina Colada pie


1 unbaked pie crust


For the pineapple filling:


2/3 cup sugar


3 tablespoons cornstarch


1 can (16-oz.) crushed pineapple, with juice


2/3 cup water


1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Coconut cream filling:


6 ounces cream cheese, softened


1/2 cup sugar


2 teaspoons coconut extract


1 tablespoon coconut rum


6 ounces whipped topping, such as Cool Whip


Homemade whipped cream mixture:


2/3 cup heavy whipping cream


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar


2 tablespoons pineapple juice


1/4 teaspoon coconut extract


Garnishes:


Pineapple slices (rings), cut in half


Maraschino or candied cherries


Toasted shredded coconut


1. Bake pie crust in an 8- or 9-inch pie pan according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.


2. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in pineapple, including juice (except reserve 2 tablespoons of juice for whipped cream) and water.


3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and come to a boil, about 10 minutes. Allow to boil for 1 1/2 minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.


4. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar, coconut extract and coconut rum together in a medium-sized bowl until smooth. Fold in the Cool Whip. Pour filling into cooled pie crust and smooth into an even layer.


5. Top cream cheese mixture with pineapple mixture. Spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm.


6. To make the whipped cream, whip heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar, pineapple juice and coconut extract and whip until stiff peaks form.


7. Spread whipped cream on the top of the pie and top with pineapple slices, toasted coconut and cherries.


Pina Colada cupcakes


2 1/2 cups flour


1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


1/2 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 teaspoon salt


3 large eggs


1 3/4 cups sugar


2/3 cup vegetable oil


1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon rum extract)


3/4 cup sour cream (not reduced-fat type)


1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple (drained slightly)


Garnishes, all optional:


Pineapple pieces


Maraschino cherries


Toasted coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.


2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until slightly thickened and a light cream color (about 2 minutes).


3. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. Add in the pineapple and sour cream and mix until fully blended. Add the flour mixture and blend until just combined and smooth.


4. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners and fill about 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for about 22 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.


5. Frost with coconut cream cheese frosting (recipe below). Decorate with garnishes, if desired.


Coconut cream cheese frosting


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter


1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese


1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract, to taste


4 cups confectioners’ sugar


1 tablespoon dark rum


1. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds.


2. Add vanilla, coconut extract and confectioners’ sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy. Slowly add the rum and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.


3. Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)

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