Just four ingredients that you may already have at home make for one of the tastiest treats in the Mexican pan dulce repertoire: campechanas. Not all panaderías in Mexico have campechanas though. And not all the panaderías that do carry them have fabulous campechanas. In fact, I have found that campechanas sold on the streets tend to be the very best ones.
Not for nothing is there a saying that goes “as American as apple pie.” Pie in the US is American comfort food of the first order. Pie in Mexico is pay. Pay: a sweet taste of el sueño Americano, a bite of the ideal life en los Estados Unidos. Just like a milkshake, just like a Hollywood blockbuster, just like being able to wear a pair of laid-back Levi’s jeans.
It has been 15 years since we packed our bags to move from Mexico City to Texas. I’ve taken every opportunity to go back to visit. There is always something new to learn and to rediscover. And there is always a dish that sticks with me in such a way that it has me running back home to make it for my boys. If they request it, time and again, it becomes a home staple that I hope to pass on. That’s the case with the ultra decadent Yucatán style French toast.
Red, green, orange, blue… and all the colors you can dream up! Vanilla, cajeta, jamaica, chocolate, coffee, fruits, nuts… and just about any flavor you may crave. Smooth or chunky, creamy or foamy, heavy or light… choose any texture you like. Wait! We haven’t even gotten into shapes. Did you say your son likes Spiderman, your mom likes flowers or you want to go for a simple 2 layer design?
For years, I’ve managed to turn every Mexican vacation into a working trip. As soon as I touch Mexican soil, I set up interviews, plan research tours, library searches, cooking adventures, all the while trying to tweet and instagram. And facebook, pinterest and blog too… My appetite expands outrageously as if giving me a chance to try all that my eyes can see and my mind can gather. Even with the best of intentions to relax and disconnect, they only last so long.
You know what happens when you eat a Santa Clara Cookie? When you first bite into it, you go through a soft layer with grainy texture that tastes like a moist version of marzipan. But as your teeth sink in they hit the hard crust of a buttery cookie that breaks into the crunchiest of chunks in your mouth. It makes for such tasty contrast that you have to take more bites to understand their beauty. Since one cookie doesn’t explain it, you will reach for another one…
I wouldn’t be caught dead without Pan de Muerto during Day of the Dead. One of the most meaningful, colorful and delicious of Mexican celebrations, Día de Muertos has this bread as one of its trademark treats.
When I was about 10 years old, my parents developed a habit of traveling during the December holidays without my sisters and I. Don’t ask me why they thought it was a good idea. It was an awful, terrible, horrible idea. The sweet highlight was that our babysitter Sari, whom we call Nana Tochito and…
Sliced bread brushed with melted butter, toasted until golden, layered with handfuls of nuts and dried fruits, drenched in piloncillo syrup, topped with crumbled salty cheese and baked until it all comes together… Once out of the oven, it tastes like a cross between French toast and bread pudding. Crisp-on-the-top and moist-in-the-center, every spoonful a delightful mess.
I had never heard the name Mexican Wedding Cookies. Ever. I was born and raised in Mexico City. I lived there all my life until I married my husband, another Mexican, and moved to the U.S. There were no Mexican Wedding Cookies at our Mexican wedding (though there were a ton of roosters doing their Cock a Doodle Do thing next door, which made it hard for us to say our vows real loud…). Nor were there any of those cookies, at any wedding in Mexico that I have ever attended. None.