Seeing as how I'm on a short hiatus from Swagbucks right now because in my zeal to search last night, I pressed the 'enter' button a bit too long and it was read by the site as being multiple and too quick and successive searches, ie, also called 'oversearching'. So I got the infamous 'rules' page, which is basically a little warning to lay off on the searches or risk being deactivated. So what is a girl to do when she can't be using her favorite search engine? Why Blog of course silly!
And seeing as how I've also made a new blogging buddy, who happened to ask for my recipe for sweet tamales, why that just gave me the perfect topic to post about. Nathan, this is for you! Sorry, no pictures of the finished product. Next time I make them I will be sure to take lots of photos.
Authentic Mexican Sweet Tamales
Tea for Dough
1 ½ c water
2-3 cinnamon sticks (small)
¼ tsp anise seeds
2 cones of piloncillo (dark brown sugar)
Dash of cardamom (optional)
1 pkg each of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries)
½ box of dark raisins
½ box of golden raisins
1 pkg (10-12 oz) pecan pieces (or more to taste)
1 pkg of coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Rum or brandy to cover the dried fruits in bowl
5 lbs. of corn masa fresh from tortilleria(Molino)
1 lb box of lard
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup mixed of raisins and dried fruit
Corn husks (about 2 pkgs)
Note: Tea and filling may be prepared up to a week in advance (stored in fridge) if desired. This makes for less work on the day you prepare the tamales.
For Tea: combine all ingredients and simmer until piloncillo melts. Strain liquid when cooled and store covered in fridge.
For Filling: combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and store in fridge.
I- When ready to make tamales, thoroughly clean and rinse husks. Soak in hot water for at least 20 minutes to soften. Drain, set aside.
II- Slowly melt lard over low heat, just until melted. In mixing bowl place masa, salt and baking powder. Using batter attachment, mix, and slowly add some of the tea to mix the dough until fluffy. Add fruit and the rest of the tea and mix well, stopping mixer in between additions. Slowly add melted lard and mix gently. Continue to add the lard until dough has a very soft consistency, but is spreadable. Stop mixer and place your prepared dough in a container so you can proceed to the next step. I usually place it in a disposable aluminum roasting pan. It makes for a comfortable height to dip into for spreading. Also a snap to clean up when finished! I just discard as it will be very greasy!
III- Using a tablespoon or a serving spoon, spread dough onto the wide part of the corn husk. You can spread a few at a time, and then fill, or if you have someone to help you, one person can spread the dough onto the husks, and the other places the filling and folds the tamal. To fill, place about a heaping tsp of filling (or more to taste) in center of dough. Fold one side of husk over the filling and then the other side of husk over the first side, then the tapered end down over the middle and lay down in layers. When all the dough has been used up, or you run out of filling (hopefully both at the same time) place your tamales in a steamer, arranging them in a vertical position. Cover with additional husks and a dish towel. Pour a kettle and a half of water and steam for about 1 ½ hours, or longer if necessary. Tamales are ready when the dough easily separates from the husk. Enjoy!
Makes about 8-9 dozen tamales
Note: Since we've got the flavors of coconut and rum going on, if you wanted you could also add some chopped pineapple to either the dough or the filling for a pina colada taste! I'm also thinking that if you should have leftover filling, you could use it for one of those fruit cookie bar recipes.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~