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Traditional Mexican Recipes for the Holidays

If you're looking for a fun and festive way to liven up your holiday meal this year, try adding a little twist by preparing a few traditional holiday Mexican recipes. Tamales Tamales are a favorite among Mexican cultures, especially during festivities, and can be made to be sweet or savory. It is said that there are between 500 and 1000 different types of tamales all around Mexico! They take a significant amount of time to prepare, but the delicious end result is well worth the effort. Bring the family together to help make them and serve0 with Atole or Champurrado (recipe below) to drink. Want to give it a try? Check out this great tutorial on how to make homemade tamales. Mexican Wedding Cakes These melt in your mouth cookies delicately draped in powdered sugar are perfect for a holiday dessert or snack.

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped, roasted (see below)
  • An additional 3/4 cup powdered sugar to roll cookies in
  • An additional 1/4 teaspoon salt
Add butter, powdered sugar and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Mix at medium-high speed until completely mixed. In a seperate bowl, mix flour and salt. Mix the flour into the butter about 1/2 cup at a time until well incorporated. Carefully fold in the nuts.Take a small amount of dough and roll it into a one inch ball. Continue and place the balls on a lightly greased cookie sheeet, about 2 inches apart.Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Mix additional powdered sugar and salt. Roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar/salt mixture. (Recipe: mexicanfood.about.com) Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Bread This fine cake is traditionally prepared for The Day of Kings (el Dia de Reyes), or Epiphany, on January 6. The celebration commemorates the day the Three Wise Men arrived at the manger in Bethlehem bearing gifts for the baby Jesus.
  • 2 ¼ tsps dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP rum
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP anise extract
  • 3½ - 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp water
  • candied fruit for garnish
For the topping dough:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes or until it starts foaming.
  2. In a small pot warm milk and add sugar, butter, vanilla, anise and rum. Mix until it reaches about 105°F (it will be warm to the touch)
  3. Mix milk mixture with yeast mixture and add 3½ cups of flour, one at a time, raisins and 3 eggs. Knead for 10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is too wet.
  4. Place dough into a bowl and cover. Let it sit until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF
  6. Turn the dough onto a slightly floured surface and using your palms roll it into a long rope. Shape it into a ring sealing the ends together.
  7. Make an egg wash using 1 egg and 1 tsp of water and brush the bread with it.
  8. In a small bowl mix the ingredients for the pasta mixing them with a fork until they come together. Using an icing knife or bag spread strips of topping dough on the bread alternating with candied fruit strips.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it turns golden brown. Let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes and serve with hot Mexican chocolate. (Recipe: whatscooking.us)
Atole Atole is a very traditional Mexican drink made with masa. It is served hot and is very popular during the holiday season. It is typically accompanied with tamales and can be made with variations including fruit and chocolate.
  • 5 cup Milk or water
  • 1/2 cup Masa harina (can be found in grocery stores near the flour)
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar or piloncillo
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  1. Whisk the milk or water, masa harina, sugar or piloncillo and cinnamon in a large saucepan until smooth.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and serve hot in mugs.
Variation - Champurrado (Chocolate atole): After removing from heat, whisk in 4 ounces of chopped Mexican chocolate until completely dissolved. Or use 4 ounces of chopped baking chocolate. Adjust sugar as needed. Champurrado is traditionally whisked with a wooden utensil called a molinillo until it is frothy. The beverage is then served with a generous serving of foam spooned on top of each serving. (Recipe: www.whats4eats.com) If you're not planning on cooking this year, let Pueblo Bonito Cabo Resorts serve you some of the best food in Cabo! For a gourmet Mexican meal that is sure to please your palate, make a reservation at La Frida at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach. Decadent food, a splendid ocean view and impeccable service will truly make a holiday meal you won't forget!

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