Habichuelas con Dulce (Sweet Cream of Beans) is one of the most cherished traditions among Dominicans. It is prepared in large quantities during Lent, and shared with relatives and neighbors.
It has always surprised us that of all our recipes, this is by far one of the most popular. The surprise comes from the fact that there are no two habichuelas con dulces alike. Each home has its own version.
One of the good things about habichuelas con dulce is that no two homes prepare it exactly the same way; it’s also a very forgiving dish that even the beginner cook can make well, and hey! any error can be explained as just your style.
There’s also the Habas con Dulce version (Sweet Cream of Butter Beans), which seems very popular in the Southwest, as well as the white bean version which some people seem to favor.
Read the comments and you will see how many different touches our readers have added to it.
Habichuelas con Dulce – Where did it come from?
I have no idea how this dish came about: it’s a pretty strange combination of ingredients (that never stopped us Dominicans, we’re fearless that way). Unlike most our dishes, there isn’t an equivalent in other countries that we’ve found (although bean-based desserts are known in some countries). It seems to be an acquired taste, but we Dominicans love it and never seem to have enough of it.
Receta de habichuelas con dulce en español.
- 4 cups of red kidney beans, or cranberry beans boiled soft
- ½ cup of raisins
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cups of water from boiling the beans
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of coconut milk
- 3 cups of evaporated milk
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ lb of sweet potatoes (batata) cut into small cubes
- 10 cloves
- Cassava bread (may be omitted)
- 1 cup of milk cookies (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons of butter
- Soak the beans in water overnight. Change the water and boil until soft in abundant water.
- Put the beans (and the water in which they boiled) in a blender a puree.
- Strain the beans to get rid of the skins and undissolved solids.
- Pour the beans, coconut milk and half the milk into a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add the rest of the milk, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, cloves and sweet potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
- Boil until it has reduced to about ¾ of the original volume - the cream of beans will get much thicker when chilled).
- Spread butter on the cassava bread, sprinkle with salt and put in the oven until it turns golden brown.
- Serve the beans chilled with the cassava on the side. Put cookies in the beans when you serve.
You can use almond, rice or soy milk if you are lactose intolerant or vegan, and skim milk if you are counting calories.
You can use your sweetener of choice in lieu of sugar. Just cook everything without the sugar and add the sweetener as the last step.
My mom, a diabetic, made hers with Splenda and they taste just fine.
If like many people you get heartburn from eating sweet potatoes, don't sweat it, just skip it.
If you don't have the milk cookies used in this recipe (see photo) you can use animal crackers or crumbled Maria cookies. They are the same, only in different shapes.
To make <em>Habas con Dulce</em> version (Sweet Cream of Butter Beans) just use butter beans in lieu of beans and in exactly the same way as described in the recipe. This version usually calls for a touch of fresh grated ginger.
Each home adds its combination of spices, other popular ones are allspice berries, ginger, nutmeg, star anise and cardamon seeds.
If you can't find the classic cookies for this dish, animal crackers works just fine.