The lead-up to the holidays is always hectic and busy, but when the kids are out of school and the snow is falling and there is nowhere I need to be, my favourite thing in the world is to curl up on the couch with a big mug of steaming coffee and Baileys. It's such a cozy, seasonal thing for me; reading a good book in my warm flannel pajamas, or maybe watching "The Price is Right" with the kids, curled up under a knitted afghan, but always, always with a coffee and Baileys.
It signals the real start of the holidays to me, suddenly being thrust into a lazy, nothing-to-do-and-nowhere-to-go state. It's a welcome change from the rush to school and activities and holiday parties and the grocery store. Baileys and coffee means that I can stay in for the day; I can look out the window at the beautiful frost and snow - beautiful because I don't have to go out in it.
The problem is this: I have a hard time digesting dairy and, sadly for me, Baileys is a CREAM recipe. Last year, after the lovely Maija posted her recipe for homemade Baileys Irish Cream, I wondered if I could make a non-dairy version. I experimented a little and came up with this recipe, which even my non-vegan, dairy-loving husband enjoyed. If that's not a high commendation, I don't know what is. So give it a try - so easy, so delicious, and so much like the Bailey's Irish Cream that we know and love, but without the cream.
In a large saucepan, combine the coconut milks, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until somewhat thickened, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat. Add coffee and whiskey and stir well. Allow to cool before serving.
This makes an impressive hostess gift; pour into a pretty jar and tie a ribbon on it; you will be the hit of the party!
This keeps in a glass jar in the refrigerator for one week; be sure to shake or stir before serving as the coffee and whiskey settle at the bottom.
NOTE: I made a lot of this, more than could be feasibly consumed in a week, and so I froze it in mason jars. It worked quite well; if you do this, after thawing give it a whirl in the blender to mix it all up. (Put the whiskey in the coconut and mix it all up...)
Serve with coffee, or on ice, or in hot chocolate - pajamas optional but recommended.