Cocadas are a Bolivian cookie made with coconut, sweetened condensed milk and (optional) macadamia nuts! This recipe is quick, simple, and oh-so-delicious. This recipe is a great gluten free treat as well.
Cocadas are a popular candy/cookie not only in Bolivia but all over Latin America! They are also popular in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and even Spain.
The name of this cookie in Bolivia is most likely traced back to the Coca Leaf, a plant in South America.
Why Make this Recipe
- Quick & Easy: The “dough” for these cookies takes all of 5 minutes to whip up and 25 minutes to bake, and then you have an incredible, sweet, caramel-y cookie with bits of macadamia nuts to enjoy.
- Gluten Free: Cocadas are a perfect gluten-free option for those with gluten restrictions, as the cookie is not made with a traditional dough. There is not even a need for any substitutes!
- Easy to Make with Children: Because this recipe involves simply mixing some ingredients and scooping them into balls, you can easily make this recipe with children! They will love helping you out in the kitchen.
What Ingredients are in this Recipe?
- Shredded Coconut: I used shredded, sweetened coconut. A more traditional option would also be coconut flakes, if you can find them.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: 1 14oz can will be enough to give you what you need.
- Macadamia Nuts: These can be omitted if you so choose. Be sure to use unsalted nuts.
- Vanilla: Vanilla extract or pure vanilla both work.
How to Make Cocadas
Step 1: Make the Dough
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine all ingredients with one bowl and mix until combined.
Step 2: Bake
Use a cookie scoop to form the mixture into 22-24 small balls. Place these on an unlined, ungreased baking sheet with four sides
Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes. Enjoy!
- If you want to add an extra touch of magic to your cocadas, you can dip them in chocolate as well.
- Instead of making the recipe with Sweetened Condensed Milk, you can use Dulce de Leche for an extra pop of flavor
What Happens when Sweetened Condensed Milk is Baked?
Sweetened condensed milk is one of the tiniest, most wonderful joys in life. This stuff is SOOOOO good, and is basically magic!
When baked for long enough, the sweetened condensed milk transforms from a sweet, milk-like substance, to a dark, delicious caramel. In fact, boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk is one of the easiest ways to make Dulce de Leche from Argentina (which is REALLY delicious served with Alfajores).
When making these Bolivian Cocadas, the sweetened condensed milk is no different.
Once it hits the oven, the sweetened condensed milk transforms into an incredible, thick caramel that holds the cookies together. This makes the cookies soft and chewy and so sweet.
Can someone say YUM?!?!?
Did you make these Cocadas from Bolivia? Make sure to share a photo on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork.
If you loved the Dulce de Leche aspect of these cookies, don’t forget to check out these other recipes on my site that you might like:
- Butter Cookies from Egypt
- Traditional Italian Pizzelle Recipe
- Traditional Italian Biscotti Recipe
- 5 South American Desserts You Can Make at Home
Cocadas: Coconut Cookies with Macadamia Nuts (Bolivia)
- 3 1/2 cups shredded coconut
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup macadamia nuts chopped
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients into one bowl.
- Using a cookie scoop, form the mixture into 22-24 small balls, and place on an unlined, ungreased cookie sheet with four sides.
- Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes. Enjoy!