Tocinillo de Cielo is a distant cousin of flan. It is sometimes mistakenly called "Tocino del Cielo," which literally means "bacon from heaven." It doesn't look like bacon, it doesn't taste like bacon -- in fact, there's no bacon in it. So why people started calling it this, we'll never know. No matter what you call it, tocinillo del cielo is sweeter and lighter than flan, light on the tongue.
We've seen two types at bakeries and supermarkets. One has a slight lemon-citrus taste, the other tastes like almonds. Both are delicious - so experiment.
Turrones are almond candies imported from Spain and a traditional holiday treat. They come in several flavors including chocolate, nougat, cream-walnut, honey, fruit and egg.
Capuchinos are those little yellow cones you see in the case at a Cuban bakery. They are a rich cake made with egg yolks and soaked in a very sweet sugar syrup. Capuchinos recipe here.
This treat is made with ground peanuts and has a sweet and heavy peanut flavor. The bars are very dense and rich tasting.
Meringues are like the topping of a lemon pie, only drier and puffier. You'll see them in bags at stores all over Miami. You can also get a larger, fresher version at local bakeries. Some places add a touch of anise to give them a light licorice flavor. Meringues recipe here.
Cubans love coconut and coquitos are deliciously sweet coconut candies. The come in several popular varieties:
This company makes several different bars, many with a coconut or fruit base. Some of the flavors include: coconut, pineapple/coconut, milk cream, orange cream, and guava.
Arroz con Coco The classic rice pudding -- this one features the great tropical flavor of coconut.
Arroz con Leche Delicious creamy rice pudding served warm and bursting with cinnamon aroma and flavor...
Boniatillo The old Cuban holiday favorite, a unique sweet potato pudding.
Bunuelos These light, fried pastries are a Cuban tradition served warm with a special syrup.
Cake Emborrachado This cake gets drunk on rum, so you don't have to.
Cake de Guayaba The sweet guava cake that will remind veteran Cubans of Masa Real
Cake de Mango Ripe juicy mangoes baked in a sumptuous cake.
Cake de Ron Rum gives this rich and moist cake a complex and interesting flavor.
Capuchinos The little yellow cone-shaped cakes you see in just about every Cuban bakery.
Dulces (Pastas) Thick fruity pastes that are sliced and served with soft cheeses on crackers.
Dulce de Leche Cortada Sweet caramel milk curds make for an unusual dessert.
Dulce de Leche Salsa This caramel sauce is delicious on several desserts, including ice cream.
Flan A wonderfully rich dessert, creamy and full of egg flavor like a very rich custard.
Flan de Coco Coconut is always a fantastic addition to flan!
Flan de Queso The Cuban version of cheesecake.
Islas Flotantes The classic dessert that was all the rage in America -- in the 1950's.
Jalea de Guayaba Yes, you can make your own guava jelly at home!
Merengues Meringues are like the topping of a lemon pie, only drier and puffier.
Mermeladas Wonderful, eggy, pudding-like gems -- a great filling for pies and pastries.
Nata Cake Cake squares stuffed with a pudding-like filling and topped with whipped cream.
Natilla The simple, homespun pudding that brings you back to your mom's kitchen in Havana.
Pastelitos Delicate puff pastries filled with tropical fruits, cream cheese, even meat!
Polvorones A very typical cookie made with crushed almonds, they actually came to Cuba from Spain.
Pudín de Pan Bread pudding with a touch of guava flavor.
Quesillo Prepared like flan, tastes like cheesecake. A traditional homemade Cuban favorite!
Señoritas Flaky pastries filled with layers of creamy chocolate or vanilla.custard.
Tocinillo del Cielo Sweeter and lighter than flan, light on the tongue.
Torticas de Coco Chewy coconut cookies with a corn flake crunch.
Torticas de Guayaba Guava and Peanut Butter together at least -- in a cookie!
Torticas de Navidad Straight from Havana, the most authentic Cuban Christmas cookie!
Torticas de Moron Cuban sugar cookies with a hint of lime.
Tres Leches Cake Three milks: sweetened condensed, evaporated, and heavy cream.