A Cool Way to Beat the Heat.

Popsicles. Ahhh, I dream of popsicles in the summer. They remind me of my childhood and how they would cool you down on a hot summer day. Whether it was the sound coming down the street and the ice cream man was here, otter pops or just a plain old orange (my favorite flavor) popsicle from the fridge, the frozen treat never ceases to do its job.

In college I fell in love with paletas, which are Mexican-inspired frozen pops. There was a restaurant called Mary’s Paleteria.It served Mexican-inspired cold treats.It was definitely an underrated place. While I was the arts editor for our university newspaper, I wrote a review on Mary’s, thus my obsession with the place began.

With flavors such as rice pudding, hibiscus mint, passion fruit, etc. Definitely something different for the palate. I have a love for coconut, so the coconut paleta was my favorite. And so, drum roll, I give you the recipe for Creamy Coconut Paletas. It’s so simple and delicious. It’s bursting with rich coconut and will cool you off after a day at the pool.

Creamy Coconut Paletas
Makes six to eight pops

1 13½-oz. can coconut milk
1 14-oz. can organic sweetened condensed milk
2/3 c. half-and-half
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¾ c. unsweetened shredded coconut*

*For a toasted coconut flavor, spread a thin layer of shreds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 325° for 10-15 minutes.

1. Put the coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, salt, and vanilla in a blender; blend until smooth.

2. Stir in the shredded coconut.

3. If using conventional popsicle molds, divide the mixture among the molds, snap on the lid, and freeze until solid, about 6 hours. If using glasses (try shot glasses for mini paletas) or other unconventional molds, freeze until pops begin to set (about 2 hours), then insert sticks and freeze until solid.

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