Cheater’s alfajores

Today on the Kenmore Genius Blog, I’m confessing my dirty little secret on how to make alfajores with all of the flavor and hardly any of the work. If you’re a disaster in the kitchen, are pressed for time with a busy schedule or just having a lazy moment, this recipe is for you! It’s so easy, you’ll wonder why you never thought of it yourself…. 

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Travel Tuesday: Puerquitos remind me of Aguascalientes

This past weekend, I ventured into a different bakery in Pilsen than usual when I decided to stop for some bolillo rolls to make capirotada for the last week of Lent. To my delight, this bakery that I hadn’t visited in several years had a tray of puerquitos – a molasses and cinnamon-flavored cookie cut into the shape of a piggy.

Some of you know I gave up eating processed sugar for Lent, something that has not been easy in a house where we love desserts and pan dulce. I was too weak to resist the temptation, though, and bought one to satisfy the craving. I just needed one little bite and I was immediately reminded of a bakery I visited in Aguascalientes last summer with José’s abuelita Ana. It was adjacent to a charming little restaurant downtown called La Saturnina, a place with cotton candy-pink, purple and cobalt blue painted walls, where she loves to eat breakfast (a place she swears makes the best torrejas in Aguascalientes, in part because of the dark, tangy, molasses-like miel de maguey it’s served with). The bakery, called Panadería Los Angeles, was certainly like a slice of heaven with the scent of sugar, cinnamon and freshly-baked breads wafting through the warm summer air…. 

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CARLOTA DE LIMÓN

Mexican dessert: carlota de limón o postre de limón, known as an ice box cake or a Charlotte in English. Get the recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com

This past weekend, I was trying to decide what I should bring for dessert to my family’s Easter fiesta. I was considering taking either flan or capirotada, but couldn’t decide so I asked my Twitter amigos what to do. I got just about equal votes for each, including one really funny comment after I referred to our gathering as “Mexi-Rican Easter” since we’ve got some Puerto Rican cousins in my extended family.

Eventually, my friend Nelda suggested I bring a carlota. We debated a bit about the method and the kind of cookie to be used (ladyfingers versus galletas María), but ultimately we decided the best version would include cream cheese. I can’t remember the last time I had a carlota, but I’ll tell you what: It’s making a comeback in my kitchen this spring and summer.

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