Tamales de dulce (sweet tamales)

Yield: 1 Dozen

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Masa harina
½ cup Sugar
¼ teaspoon Salt
1½ teaspoon Cinnamon
1½ teaspoon Baking powder
¼ cup Margarine
¼ cup Lard
1½ cup Chicken stock
1 cup Almonds; sliced or slivered
1 cup Raisins OR blackberries, fresh or frozen; sweetened with sugar
1 pack Dried corn husks; soaked in hot water to soften

Stir together dry ingredients (masa harina, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking powder).

Cream margarine and lard until fluffy. Gradually beat masa harina mixture and broth into the lard. Beat well for about 5 minutes. (A small test ball of the dough should rise in cold water.) Stir almonds into dough. If using raisins, mix into the dough. If using blackberries, reserve and use as a center filling.

Place 6 to 8 cups of water and a coin into the bottom of the steamer.

Shake excess water from the softened corn husks. Line steamer with corn husks. Spread dough (approximately 2 tablespoons) evenly on the center of the remaining husks. If using blackberries, place a spoonful of berries in center of dough. Roll and turn up. If necessary, roll in an additional husk, or tie with a piece of string to secure. Pack tamales into steamer as they are made. Surround with corn husks.

Top with terry toweling and secure lid. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium and steam for 1-½ to 2 hours. Remember to listen for the coin; it will let you "hear" the water level. When the coin becomes silent, the water level is too low and you must add more.

To reheat, place in greased frying pan over medium-low and heat through, turning occasionally. If preferred, the tamales may be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350 degree oven 20 to 30 minutes.

Use foil method and add an additional 15 minutes to reheat. Tamales freeze well.

This makes about a dozen small tamales.

NOTE: These are the sweet tamales that I have personally had while on trips into Mexico, and they are soo-o-oh good, but there are other recipes containing fruits, i.e., pineapple - (in my experience, these are usually sickening sweet but that's my humble opinion).

From Mary Ann Young's personal collection <maryann4@...>

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