Ali and I are enjoying exploring all the traditional recipes from our heritage, the Philippines. We already started off with our Red Bean Moon Cakes and Mongo Hopia recipes but decided to continue making more with these fun and festive Pastillas de Leche treats. These treats are eaten all year round but we decided to make these more fun and festive just in time for the Spring season and for Easter.
Pastillas de leche are a sweet, milky, melt-in-your-mouth treat made of milk and sugar. These tiny delights are so easy to make. Most of the time spent making this recipe is in reducing the milk down to a thick consistency which takes about 20 minutes. this part takes a bit of patience only because you do not want to have the heat too high and only at a gentle simmer. This is to prevent any clumping and prevent the milk from burning. After that, it's cake! so easy. Add in the powdered milk, sugar, and butter and roll into pieces of heavenly milky candy.
Check out our The Filipina Kitchen tutorial on Instagram.
4 cups whole fat cow's milk
3/4 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup caster sugar or granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Caster sugar for rolling
Oreo cookies, filling removed and cookies crushed (used only for Cookies & Cream Pastillas)
1. In a deep skillet, add the milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continuously stir while simmering for approximately 15 minutes.
2. Next, add sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Be sure to continue stirring the mixture gently to prevent any it from burning or affecting the taste or consistency of the mixture.
3. Turn the heat down to low-medium heat and continue simmering. Once the mixture has formed into a thick paste-like consistency, remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and mix together.
4. Add the powdered milk and mix until it forms into a dough. This mixture can then be placed into a clean bowl and cooled to room temperature.
5. Once the dough has cooled, roll the dough into a log shape, approximately 12 inches, and divide it into 4 equal parts. Then, for each log, roll again into a thinner log and divide the log into 8 pieces. Each piece should measure to about 1.5 inches long.
6. Roll each piece into the caster sugar until completely coated.
7. Using a small piece of paper, wrap it around a piece of pastilla tightly and then wrap over the white paper, with a piece of decorative colored tissue paper and twist both ends to form a candy wrapper shape.
NOTES For Cookies and Cream Pastillas:
Instead of using 3/4 cup of powdered milk, use 1/2 of powdered milk plus 1/4 cup of crushed Oreo cookies (be sure to remove the filling).
For the pastillas sugar coating, add 1/4 cup of crushed Oreos to the sugar and mix together. Coat each pastilla with the sugar-oreo mixture.