Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead is a traditional holiday observed in Mexico as well as other cultures. For me, preperations for this go on through the whole month of October, building up to the days of celebration and remembrance. Special items, such as pictures, flowers, insense, candles, trinkets and foods are placed on simple and sometimes very large alters. The days of celebration and remembrance are October 31, November 1 and November 2. It is believed that the spirits of our loved ones who have passed come back at midnite on November 1 to enjoy their favorite items placed on the alter in their memory. Traditional foods, such as tamales, molé, frijoles, arroz, tortillas, candy made from pumpkin, chocolate and pan de muerto are some of the foods I like to prepare to honor my loved ones. For this blog post, I would love to share some of my favorite recipes, some old and some new like the cookie recipe for Calaveras. Don’t forget to click onto the last picture. It is a small article I was asked to write up for Que Rica Vida last year describing some of the traditions and foods of Dia De Los Muertos. I can never get through those last two sentenced without crying…..happy tears, only happy tears. Love you Mom and Dad.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, ground fresh
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
*food coloring, optional, green, red and blue to make purple
*colored sugar crystals
Yields 16 cookies
1. Cream the butter with mixer. Add in the sugar,baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, anise, salt and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour until dough forms, using your hands or a wooden spoon.
2. Separate dough into two equal balls if making more than one color of cookie. Add food coloring of choice until desired color. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 dregrees. Line two baking pans with parchment paper, set aside.
4. Roll dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press cookie press into dough, remove, flip over and cut out cookie shape. Transfer to baking sheet. repeat until done. You will need to lightly flour the cookie press/cut out in between so the dough does not stick. If it sticks, just be patient and start over…..
5. Decorate cookies with colored sugar crystals. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. This cookie press made 16 cookies.
Mexican Chicken Molé (Mo-Leh). Click onto picture to see full recipe
Mexican Style Pork Tamales prepared with masa harina. Click onto picture to see full recipe
Pan de Muerto~ I use my recipe for Conchas(pan de huevo) to prepare this traditional recipe. Click onto picture to see full recipe.
Frijoles~ Beans~ Legume- In My Kitchen. Click onto picture to see full recipe on blog.