Tamales de Dulce (Sweet Tamales)

The Tamales de Dulce are sweet tamales that can be eaten as a dessert or a sweet snack; yes the tamales dough is also delicious as a dessert! In Mexico they can be prepared as is outlined here with raisins and walnuts, or without anything but just the sweet tamal masa itself. You will also frequently see these tamales colored pink, they are usually served at the occasion of the "fiesta de las Candelas", or Candlemas, on Febuary 2nd. 

Making Tamales de Dulce

Tamales de Dulce

* 1 pack (8 oz.) of dry corn husks
* 1 cup butter
* 1 cup lard
* 4 cups of corn flour for tamales
* 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
* 1 tablespoon powdered cinnamon
* 2 teaspoons salt
* a few drops of red food coloring
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 can (14 oz.) of condensed milk carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
* 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
* 1 cup of raisins
* 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Cooking Instructions

Prepare the corn husks, separating and discarding those that aren't perfect or nice.
Dip the good husks in lukewarm water at least for 1 hour or until they are smooth and easy to fold.
Beat 2/3 cup of the lard in a bowl until it becomes fluffy.

Mix in a medium-sized bowl the corn flour, the sugar, the cinnamon and the salt. After this, add progressively the condensed milk, then the water, the melted butter and the lard, while mixing, to our corn flour. Add two-three drops of red coloring. Mix well the ingredients after each addition by kneading thoroughly. Gradually, knead your masa mixture until you get the desired dough texture.

Add the vanilla extract, the raisins and the nuts. Shape 1/4 of cup of this masa, using the back of a spoon, to form a square at the center of a corn husk. Wrap the masa on the right side with a leaf, and then the left hand side; wrap all around. Repeat this step with the rest of the masa.

Place all your stuffed corn husks in a basket for steaming in a steamer (or use a real tamalera). Fill with water until it reaches just the bottom of the small basket. Arrange the tamales vertically in the small basket. Cover them with the remaining leaves and a damp cloth.

Heat up to high heat setting until the water starts to boil, then reduce the heat and leave it this way. While steaming, make sure you never run out of water in your steamer, so add more water if it is necessary. Set your tamales to steam for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the husks can easily be peeled from the masa.

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