Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes

When I was younger, I used to eat chocolate like it was the only food option available.

I would go into the pantry and sneak bites from the chocolate that my mom would use for champurrado.

The cupcakes came out sweet and moist and had the distinctive flavor of Nestles Abuelita chocolate.

Nestles Abuelita has always been my mom’s chocolate of choice and my favorite to eat.

It comes in a circular tablet that can be broken down into smaller triangle tablets. Usually, my mom uses it to make champurrado or hot chocolate, however I wanted to do something different with this Mexican chocolate.

Instead of using it to make a drink, I ground it down into a fine powder and used it to make cupcakes.

Be warned however, this is not easy to grind down. It took me a few tries before I could get the chocolate to the consistency I wanted.

For the frosting I stuck to a basic vanilla and decorated the top with leftover chocolate crumbles.

However, the end result was worth the hard work. My mom enjoyed trying these Mexican chocolate cupcakes and they disappeared quickly.

I think that I would have enjoyed eating these cupcakes as a child. Especially, because eating the chocolate in cupcake form has to be healthier than just gnawing on a pure chocolate tablet like a wild animal.

Recipe: Cupcakes

  • 1 disk of Abuelita (or your choice) chocolate (ground down. If needed soften in microwave a little before grinding)
  • 1/4 cup of butter at room temp
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Recipe: Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter – softened
  • 3 cups (or less) confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Method: Cupcakes

1.Preheat oven to 350F

2.Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa. Set aside

My mom really enjoyed eating these cupcakes and she’s not a big fan of chocolate.

3.In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until well combined.

4.Add the eggs, vanilla and oil one at a time until well blended.

5.Add the Mexican chocolate powder.

6.With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients until just combined. Make sure not to overmix.

7.Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.

8.Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

9.Let the cupcakes cool down before frosting.

I chose vanilla frosting to balance the chocolate but any frosting can be used! I recommend caramel or even marshmallow.

Method : Frosting

1.In a stand mixer, whisk butter until light and fluffy on low. Slowly add the sugar.

2.Mix on low speed until combined, then increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.

3.Add vanilla and cream and beat for an additional minute. Add more cream if needed.

Arroz con Leche – Rice Milk Pudding

When I was little, I would always get excited when I would see my mom washing rice in the kitchen. Rice has always been one of my favorite things to eat.

Arroz con Leche can be topped with different things, I prefer cinnamon.

I don’t care how it’s prepared, I love rice. It can be arroz rojo (red rice), steamed rice or even horchata. Horchata is a drink that is often prepared by using rice, strawberry horchata is just as good as the original.

As long as something has rice in it, I’m all for it, especially because I have been a pescatarian for nine years.  A pescatarian is someone who eats fish but no other forms of meat or birds, this is why most of the recipes I share here don’t have any meat in them.

One of my favorite desserts that my mom makes will always be arroz con leche. Arroz con leche is literally rice with milk. It is a sweet rice pudding that can be eaten as either a dessert or breakfast.

This is an easy Mexican dessert that can be made for any occasion.

Every household makes arroz con leche differently. It would be hard to point at a specific recipe and say that’s the original recipe.

Arroz con leche is literally rice with milk. It is a sweet rice pudding that can be eaten as either a dessert or breakfast.

My mom has always preferred adding cinnamon sticks and a pinch of cloves to her recipe. In my opinion, this makes the arroz con leche warmer, so I often add cinnamon sticks and some cloves to my arroz con leche as well.

I have always loved this dish because it can be served either warm or cold. Because it can be served at any temperature, my mom often makes arroz con leche year-round. No matter what season it is, there might be some arroz con leche being made in my house.

It can be enjoyed warm or cold but I prefer this dessert warm.

I prefer my arroz con leche warm, it brings back memories of when I was little. I always think about when my mom and I would curl up in bed on cold winter nights and eat some freshly made arroz con leche, while watching TV.

For this recipe, I added leche condesada (sweetened condensed milk) instead of the normal white sugar that my mom normally adds, because I love sweet things. The leche condesada made the arroz con leche sweeter but not to an unbearable degree.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups of white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 can of leche condesada
  • 1 can of leche evaporada
  • 1 or 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • A pinch of cloves

Recipe

1.Wash the rice and set aside.

2.In a medium or large pot set to medium-high heat, boil cinnamon sticks, cloves, rice and water. Reduce heat to simmer and cook the rice for about 15 to 20 minutes.

You can always toast the cinnamon and cloves before adding them to the mixture.

3. Add the milk, leche condesada and leche evaporada. Stir everything together cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook for another 5 or so minutes or until the rice has the consistency you desire.

The cloves are optional but I always prefer them.

5.Serve warm or refrigerate for 2 hours and serve cold.

6.Garnish with any toppings you want.

Polvorones Tri-Color

I have always had a big sweet tooth. From cookies to candy, I love them all. One of my favorite memories, from my childhood, has always been spending Saturday mornings in my mom’s bed.

Polvorones are both soft and crumbly.

This was the only day of the week when my mom would lift the “no food on the bed” rule. She would wake up early in the morning to go to our local panaderia(bakery) and get an assortment of freshly baked pan dulce and galletas. Traditional Mexican pan dulce and galletas are the best thing in my opinion.

My mom would make some hot, steaming coffee for both of us during these Saturday mornings. It’s no surprise that I’m addicted to caffeine now. Our traditional cafecito con pan every Saturday morning was something I always looked forward to as a child. Now that I’m older, we aren’t able to do Saturday morning coffee and pan dulce every week but we do it whenever we have a chance.

To make these cookies take up a lot of time.

My favorite thing to dip into my coffee is considered blasphemy by a lot of people. I prefer galletas over pan dulce. While pan dulce will always hold a special place in my heart, and in my stomach, galletas are my favorite. From the packaged Maravillas to freshly baked galletas grageas, I will always prefer them over pan dulce.

My favorite galleta hands down will always be polvorones tri-color. Not to be confused with polvorones which traditional sugar-dusted cookies are served at weddings. Polvorones tri-color are a Mexican sugar cookie that, as the name suggest, have three different colors usually in the shape of a triangle. The best ones are soft yet crumble easily once you bite them.

You can make these cookies with any three colors you want.

As I’ve gotten older and my love for baking has flourished, I decided that tackling my favorite galleta would be a fun challenge. I never realized how much time consuming and labor intensive a lot of Mexican desserts can be.

The recipe for these polvorones tri-color took me a while to perfect because I wanted to make what I considered to be the perfect galleta. After hunting down recipe after recipe and subjecting my mom to taste-testing what must have been hundreds of cookies, I achieved what my mom and I consider to be the perfect recipe for polvorones tri-color. They are soft yet manage to melt in your mouth once you bite into them.

Recipe:

1/2 cup butter (at room temp)

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (at room temp)

1 cup powdered sugar (add 1/2 cup more if you want them a little sweeter)

1 egg (at room temp)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups of all purpose flour

2 tbs cocoa powder

6 drops of yellow food coloring

6 drops of purple food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Grease and flour two baking sheets and set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter,shortening and powdered sugar on medium speed until combined.

Add the egg and vanilla, beat util combined.

It’s easier to weigh the different dough balls so that they can be even.

Slowly add the salt and flour, beat until incorporated.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts, add the cocoa powder to one and yellow to the second and purple to the third.

Make all three dough sections equal in size to have an even triangle.

For a triangle with the dough and “glue” together with water.

Put in fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cut the cookies in equal size and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes.

All pictures were taken by me