Sweet Tamales for the Holidays

Hispanic Lifestyle spoke with Disneyland Resort Assistant Pastry Chef Nubia Renteria about how to prepare Sweet Tamales a special treat for the holidays.

Makes 22 tamales

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 1/2 cups masa harina
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced fresh pineapple
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil or a cooking spray
  • 22 dried cornhusks, soaked in boiling-hot water for 2 hours
  1. Combine pineapple juice, water, and honey in a large bowl, whisking until completely combined; set aside.
  2. Combine masa, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend until combined. Add shortening; blend until shortening is evenly distributed through masa.
  3. Add the salt and the baking powder. Using a whisk combine all ingredients.
  4. Add pineapple juice mixture, a cup at a time, until mixture resembles the consistency of mashed potatoes. (You may not use all of pineapple juice mixture.)
  5. Gently fold in raisins and pineapple. Set aside for 1 hour.
  6. Remove cornhusks from the water and drain. Spray insides of cornhusks with nonstick spray.
  7. Scoop out 1/3 cup of tamale dough and place inside a cornhusk. Using your hands, shape dough into a rectangle in the lower, wider part of the husk. Fold right side, then left side over tamale dough. Fold up bottom edge. Repeat with remaining tamale dough and cornhusks.
  8. Add a few inches water to a large stockpot, and place a steamer basket inside. Place tamales in steamer, stacking no more than 2 high. Place pot over high heat to bring water to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low.
  9. Steam tamales about 1 hour, or until the tamales start to separate from the cornhusks. Check water level periodically, and add more water if needed.
  10. Remove pan from the heat and allow the tamales to rest 15 to 20 minutes while still covered. Serve warm.

Bonus Recipe

Champurrado Casero – Serves 4 to 6

  • 5 cups milk
  • 10 ounces instant Mexican hot chocolate mix such as Abuelita or Ibarra
  • 2 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  1. Combine milk and Mexican hot chocolate mix in a blender; blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Combine cold water, brown sugar, masa harina, and cloves in a medium saucepan off of the stove. Whisk until mixture is smooth.
  3. Place pan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until very thick approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Slowly whisk in chocolate milk mixture until completely combined; simmer 5 minutes more, whisking constantly to avoid burning.

Serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes:  Masa harina (literally means “dough flour”) is flour made from dried masa.

Recipes courtesy of Disneyland Resorts.

Author: Richard Sandoval

Richard Sandoval is an award winning journalist who produces Hispanic Lifestyle a television program broadcasting on several PBS stations throughout the United States. editorial@Hispaniclifestyle.com

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