palitaw + filipino desserts for food52

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I wrote and shot my first piece for Food52 and it's all about Filipino desserts and I'm so proud/tired/elated I could faceplant in a bowl of ginatan (mmm...).

I called my mom every day over the two months it took me to write it, and I'm really glad she was my lifeline throughout. (Most of my texts to her were along the lines of, "does this look horrible?" and "oops I...")

Anyway! These palitaw are included in the round up, but I'm sharing the (non) recipe here! These are vegan and gluten free, as many Filipino desserts happen to be, and are similar to mochi in texture. My mom happened to be visiting for my birthday when we made these, so you've got her expert hands to guide you with visuals. Enjoy!

ingredients

glutinous rice flour
water
grated coconut
sesame seeds
sugar

instructions

Fill a pot of water and set to a low simmer on the stove. Shred and flatten the grated coconut on a plate and set aside.

In a bowl, slowly add water to the rice flour, kneading as you go, until the mixture is no longer pasty but still sticky. (Think mochi!) I can't emphasize how important it is to go slowly with the water! 

Once you have a big blob of perfect consistency, pinch of a gumball-sized chunk, roll into a ball in your palms, then flatten. Drop the palitaw into the boiling water until it floats, then scoop out and place on the bed of coconut. "Bread" each side with coconut and place on a plate.

Once all the palitaw are coconut-ed, toast the sesame seeds then grind with a mortar and pestle. Mix with a bowl of sugar, then sprinkle the sesame-sugar mix onto the palitaw. Share with your friends who don't know what Filipino desserts are ASAP.