As desserts go, the only rival to my love for chocolate is sweet cream with warming spices. Rice pudding is a humble favorite of mine, breathtakingly easy and almost always within reach. To make it a little more festive for the holidays, I used coconut milk and fresh spices, then took the liberty of frying it into sultry graham cracker-crusted nuggets. Finicky nature of frying aside, the whole ordeal takes half a workday or less, depending on how impatient you are to get the mix in the freezer to set. Once you’re on the couch with a bowl of vanilla ice cream (my husband’s recommendation) and melting around one of these beauties, you’ll know that any extra work was worth it.
Prep Time: 4 hours-1 day Cook Time: 30 minutes
For the rice pudding:
1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 stick cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split
4 whole cloves
1 tsp cardamom
1 cup white rice, preferably short grain
1/2 cup honey
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup flour
2 raw eggs, scrambled
1 package graham crackers, finely crushed
Powdered sugar for coating
- In a heavy saucepan, combine coconut milk, water, salt, and spices. Bring to slow boil, stirring often.
- Add the rice to the coconut milk mixture and bring back to a boil, then cover and decrease heat to medium-low to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring periodically.
- When the rice is soft and has absorbed most of the liquid, remove the vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
- Mix in the honey and raisins, then transfer the mixture to the fridge or freezer to cool. (I left my mix in the fridge overnight, but that’s not necessary.)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. When the rice pudding is cool to the touch, shape it into 2 tbsp balls, or whatever size you’d like them. Place the balls on the baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.
- While the rice pudding is freezing, ready your pot or deep fryer with oil, bringing it to 350 degrees.
- In four separate bowls prepare the flour, egg, graham cracker crumbs, and powdered sugar (in the largest bowl). For ease of movement, set the powdered sugar and a paper towel-covered plate on the side of the fryer opposite from your other ingredients.
- When the rice pudding is finished freezing and the oil is heated, dip the balls in the flour, then the egg, then the graham cracker crust, coating each layer thoroughly.
- Carefully drop the rice pudding balls into the oil in batches small enough for them to move around. (I cooked 4 at a time.) Fry for 5 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
- Coat the rice pudding balls in powdered sugar, using tongs, then set aside to cool. Enjoy immediately or reheat later in a toaster oven. (Or a microwave. It’s difficult to make these unpleasant.)