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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Salted Dulce de Leche

February 3, 2017
Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe from @holajalapeno

Thanks to La Lechera for sponsoring this Valentine’s Day post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

 Where’s your head at this Valentine’s Day? Mine is somewhere over in left field, which is exactly why I’m getting a head start with these oh so precious chocolate churro hearts.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

My baby boy loves him some churros and I’m going to admit here and now that I had never actually made them at home before I dove head first into testing this recipe. We overzealously tested the heck out of this recipe and continue to make it…for testing purposes of course.

I was looking for some fun inspiration for Valentine’s Day when I came across this recipe for Mini Churros with Dulce de Leche on the La Lechera Pinterest board. They looked easy enough, I had no idea churros are basically fried pate a choux—you know the dough used to make eclairs and profiteroles—read: no mixer required. I was sold.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

Chocolate + Eggs

I wanted to bump up the Valentine’s factor and make chocolate churros, which required nothing more than adding some cocoa powder to the dough. The eggs on the other hand require some discussion.

The first few times I made the recipe I added 2 eggs, which made gloriously crispy churros with perfectly eggy middles but were also impossible to form into any shape whatsoever. The final recipe calls for only 1 egg making it firm enough to form into the adorable heart shapes but the result is not as soft and doughy in the middle.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

You will have to choose your destiny with this one; cuteness over texture. The chocolate churro hearts are still delicious but are missing the spongy middle of a perfect churro. If you want to add the other egg, just pipe the dough directly into the hot oil using scissors to cut off 4-5 inch ropes of dough as they drop in (it is much easier than it sounds, you can do this).

If you want to make the chocolate churros into heart shapes you will need some muscle to pipe the dough out, if you pipe it while it is still warm this will help. Use a re-useable piping bag if at all possible. I tried it a few times with those disposable piping bags and had to triple up on them (putting three bags on top of each other) to make them sturdy enough to handle the pressure of the dough.

What’s With The Lard?

If you read down, you’ll notice I used vegetable oil AND lard to fry the churros. If you have access to lard, I highly recommend this whenever you deep fry anything from chips to chicharrones. The combination of vegetable oil and lard has the best flavor and fries things more quickly making them less greasy and crispier.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

Dulce de Leche Sauce

Traditionally churros are served with a rich chocolate sauce but with the chocolate inside the churro already, I made a simple boozy sauce from La Lechera Dulce de Leche.

I added a splash of my favorite winter liqueur, Cuarenta Y Tres or Licor 43. This is a Spanish liqueur with flavors of citrus and vanilla and I highly recommend keeping a bottle around to add to a shot of espresso every once in a while. Other boozy options for the Dulce de Leche sauce would be dark rum, brandy, or even Kahlua. If you want to skip the alcohol all together you can loosen up the dulce de leche with 1/4 cup of milk.

By definition, chocolate churro hearts are best served minutes out of the oil, almost too hot to eat, crusted with cinnamon and sugar, a generous swath of dulce de leche, and shared with the ones you love. If you happen to make it to proper table so much the better—we never made it passed the kitchen counter.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Celebrate your love this Valentine's Day with crispy chocolate churro hearts dipped in boozy salted dulce de leche sauce. Recipe adapted from La Lechera
Serves: 14 hearts
For the Churros:
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup lard, for frying (optional)
For the Dulce de Leche Sauce:
  • 1 (13.4 oz) can La Lechera Dulce de Leche
  • ¼ cup Licor 43
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Piping Bag
  • Large star tip (preferably a #8 tip)
To make the Churros:
  1. Combine water, ¼ cup vegetable oil, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla in a 4 quart saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.
  2. Remove from heat, add flour and cocoa and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool slightly (about 5 minutes) then add egg and beat into the mixture until fully incorporated.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone sheet and spray with baking spray. Transfer dough to the piping bag fitted with the star attachment and pipe into a 10-inch long rope on the prepared sheet. Bend rope to form a heart shape, squeezing the two ends together so they stick and creating a point at the other end. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. Combine vegetable oil and lard in a large Dutch oven or deep cast iron pot and attach a deep fat fry thermometer to the side.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a couple layers of paper towels. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a large, wide bowl.
  6. Once oil reaches 375°F add 2-3 churro hearts at a time and fry until crisped, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue to fry 1 more minute on the other side. Watch the oil temperature and raise or lower the heat to keep it as steady as possible.
  7. Remove churros with a bamboo skimmer or tongs to the paper towel-lined sheet. Let cool about a minute then dip in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat both sides. Set back on the baking sheet to cool. Repeat with remaining churro hearts.
To make the Dulce de Leche Sauce:
  1. Combine dulce de leche, Licor 43, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally until sauce is smooth and well combined. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm with the churros.


Apps, Comida Latina, Recipes, Snacks

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts

December 14, 2016
Goat Cheese Toasts with Spicy Honey and Almonds Recipe @holajalapeno

Tis the season for last minute party snacks and because I love you with all my might I wanted to share one of my favorites, Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts, which if I lived in a house with others who cared for me….I mean cheese, I would make this every night for dinner then serve glasses of wine and call it good.

But because I can only make cheese-involved dishes when they will be served outside the home this is my go-to “hey, can you bring an appetizer to share?” “Of course!” I say delighted to have an excuse to buy eleven whole ounces of soft, creamy goat cheese.

You can go about this hors d’oeuvres two ways.

The first and simplest plan of attack is to place the goat cheese in a shallow dish, cover the goat cheese with spicy honey and sprinkle almonds over the top. Serve with a nice selection of crackers or toasted bread and let party-goers scoop up cheese and honey and nuts for themselves. The upside to plan number one is ease of transport. If you are say, traveling by train to the party it is much easier if you go with this method. Downside: the honey tends to dribble off the cheese overtime and pool beneath it. Not a major bummer but for guests to get the full effect you might want to mention that they should be sure to “not forget the honey!”

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

The second suggestion

Make little toasts by spreading cheese, honey, maybe a pear slice or two, and some almonds on toasted slices of bread. This way you are guaranteed everyone will get a bite of all the glorious bits and it looks prettier. It is also more work and harder to carry around.

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

One note about the honey

Two teaspoons of ground arbol chile may seem like a crazy amount when you are measuring it into the honey but it takes quite a bit of spice to fight through all that sweetness. Start with one teaspoon and see what you think, then add the other if you’d like more spice. I found that 1 teaspoon was not spicy at first then kind of crept up on you and two teaspoons was spicy right away but not burn your mouth hot.

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Soft goat cheese on crisp toasted bread drizzled with spicy arbol chile honey, a few ripe pear slices, and a sprinkling of toasted almond slices.
Serves: 12 Servings
  1. Warm honey in the microwave or on the stove top until just warm, but not boiling. Heating the honey helps the chile powder disperse easier and bloom.
  2. Whisk in chile powder and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Spread about a tablespoon or so of goat cheese on the toasted bread, add a few pear slices if using, drizzle with generous amounts of honey and sprinkle with a almonds.
  4. Alternatively, arrange goat cheese on a platter pour spiced honey over the top and sprinkle almonds over the goat cheese. Serve with toasted bread slices or crackers.

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Avocado Bruschetta with Bacon and Jalapeños

November 30, 2016
Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

The holidays are here! Time for gift-giving and evergreen-scented homes and holiday cocktail parties full of nibbles!! I know the season just started but there is no time like the present to dive right into holiday appetizer recipes like these avocado bruschetta.

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

The good news is they don’t all have to be heavy cheese bombs or bbq cocktail wieners.

Take this avocado bruschetta recipe for example, it is dairy-free but still tastes indulgent with bits of crispy bacon, rich hunks of ripe avocado, and spicy thin slices of jalapeño—basically all you’ve ever wanted from an avocado toast but in a handheld miniature size.

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

I made these for a tamalada (tamale-making party) we had with my partners in merry-making crime, Aida and Meg. I’ll be bringing you all the details on how to throw your own tamalada next week, but for now I wanted to give you this recipe in case you’ve already got holiday party plans this weekend (you social butterfly, you} and you need to bring something delicious to share.

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

Here’s what I’d do if I were you.

I’d make the toasts the night or morning before and bring those in a Ziplock, then I’d mix up my avocado bruschetta topping about an hour or so before leaving. I’d take a piece of plastic wrap and press it directly on the surface of the avocado mixture and refrigerate it until you leave. Then assemble on the toasts once you get where you are going. This will keep the avocado from turning brown.

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

Let’s set forth to this time of year with as much warmth and joy in our hearts as we can muster and enjoy the beauty of gathering together. After all, what good is Christmas spirit if it’s not shared?     Abrazos Amigos, Kate

All photos by Salt and Wind

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8-10 Servings

Think of these like mini avocado toasts....but with bacon and jalapeños and lots and lots of fresh herbs. Basically everyone's dream appetizer.

The baguette can be sliced and toasted up to a day in advance. Let cool and keep in an sealed Ziplock bag until ready to use.


  • 1 baguette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 ripe (but still firm) avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1-2 jalapeños (depending on how hot you like things), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cut baguette into 1/2-inch thick slices and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with coconut oil and bake until crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine remaining bruschetta ingredients in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper, and gently stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if needed.
  3. Top each slice of bread with a spoonful of avocado mixture and serve.

Did you love this recipe? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram! Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. Besos!

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Mayo-Free Guacamole Deviled Eggs

November 30, 2016
Guacamole Deviled Eggs Recipe

Hi! Hi! And Happy Monday. Do you remember a couple weeks back when I made you Butternut Squash and Maple Empanadas and told you about the new e-cookbook that myself and whole slew of other talented food bloggers contributed to called The Casual Veggie?  Well, guess what? The book is now available! And to celebrate I made you guacamole deviled eggs!

Guacamole Deviled Eggs



The Casual Veggie Cookbook

This is a extensive compilation that features over 150 veggie-centric recipes from 45 food bloggers. Each of the 29 most common veggies from asparagus to eggplant to Brussels sprouts have their own chapter with details on how to buy, store, and cook them. The digital format is easy to navigate from any device but all the recipes are also printable so you don’t have to take your iPad into the kitchen if you don’t want to. The book is available for download right here from my site and every copy of the book bought from ¡Hola! Jalapeño helps support my blog, which means more delicious recipes for you…and maybe a glass of wine for me, I won’t lie. To purchase your very own copy click on the image of the book on the right-hand side of this page!

Deviled Guacamole Eggs

To celebrate several of us contributors are throwing a virtual party full of autumn nibbles and drinks.

Click on the links below to find all the details. My contribution to the shindig is a combination of everyone’s two favorite hors d’oeuvres; Deviled Eggs and Guacamole to make the world’s best guacamole deviled eggs (in my opinion). If the words deviled eggs have you thinking gloppy mayo-laden gut bombs then think again. These are light and creamy without using any mayonnaise at all. The avocado acts as the fat here which means less guilt for me when I accidentally devour half a dozen.

Guacamole Stuffed Eggs

Even better guacamole deviled eggs are super simple to put together. Here’s how…

Ingredients for deviled eggs

First you get the hard part out of the way; boiling and peeling the eggs (I give you a detailed rundown in the recipe for how I boil eggs, follow them and you will have perfect eggs every time). Then combine the yolks and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the filling is smooth. If you don’t have a food processor you can chop all the filling ingredients super small and then mash them together with a fork.

Pureeing the filling for eggs

Pipe or spoon the filling into the egg white shells, top with some thinly sliced jalapeños or red chiles if you’d like and serve!

Prepping Guacamole Eggs

For the rest of the party check out these fancy veggie-inspired autumn drinks and appetizers:

Guacamole Deviled Eggs Recipe


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt, divided
  • 1/2 large, ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced, plus 1 for garnish (optional)
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of the salt and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil then remove from heat, cover, and let sit 12 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel eggs and slice in half vertically. Remove yolks and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally.
  4. Pipe or spoon filling back into the cooked egg whites, top with thinly sliced jalapeños if desired and serve.

Recipes, Snacks

10 Recipes To Try This Week

November 13, 2016
10 Recipes To Try This Week

Happy Sunday friends!

What’s in store for your week? What are you making for Thanksgiving? We were planning on heading to San Diego to spend Thanksgiving with friends but now I think we are going to stay home and have a quiet Thanksgiving, just the four of us. Which is kind of okay, I’m looking forward to actually having some down time and not spending all week cooking.

In other news, I just found out my children eat ants. Should I stop this behavior?

In preparation for the holidays I’ve started two new boards on Pinterest you might want to check out: a Las Posadas board and a board full of ideas on how to throw your own tamale-making party called Tamalada Fiesta.

Have a great week! xoxo, Kate

Here’s this week’s 10 recipes–Thanksgiving style

A pan of Elizabeth’s winter squash enchiladas with beans and chipotle sauce seems in order.

Saving these tahini mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving.

A fall salad that goes with just about everything.

Beer cocktails for these bizarrely hot November days.

Yvette’s Mexican Chocolate Banana Bread must be made immediately.

This turkey brine looks freakin’ amazing.

Special cheesy Thanksgiving biscuits.

The ultimate peanut butter cookies…..with a swirl of Nutella (!!!)

Crispy roasted butternut squash with feta, oh my!!

Taco bowls…like taco salad, but better.

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Polverones: Four Ways + A Giveaway

October 27, 2016
Drop Cookie Four Recipes

We have a winner!! Congratulations to Michelle and thank you to everyone who left me comments and tons of new cookie inspiration. Don’t forget to keep checking in to ¡Hola! Jalapeño for more holiday baking ideas!

If you’ve ever visited a Mexican Panaderia you already know the joy of the buttery, chewy, sometimes crumbly Polverones Mexicanos. 

Polverones: 4 Ways Recipe

As with most things in the Mexican gastronomic realm, this name can mean many things so let me clarify what I’m talking about. Occasionally Polverones refer to the snowy, powdered sugar-covered nut cookies we know as Mexican Wedding Cookies but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

Polverones: 4 Ways

Polverones are what we think of as a sugar cookie, a vanilla-laced dough that stands up on its own and can be the base for any number of variations. If you bake at all, this is a dough I’d like you to memorize—consider this very delicious homework. This ratio of flour to fat to baking soda to salt will work for any number of cookies and can be the base for just about anything.

Polverones: 4 Ways

The easiest variation on this dough would be to mix in ingredients: a bag of chocolate chips, dried cranberries, walnuts, toffee, lemon zest, poppy seeds… spraaankles. Or you can get slightly more complicated and follow the variation recipes below.

Polverones: 4 Ways

Vanilla Spice Cookies

Up the vanilla amount and adds ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg.

Vanilla Spice Cookies Recipe

Sprinkle Cookies

Add sprinkles to the dough plus an extra layer to the top by dipping the flattened balls of cookie dough into a plate of sprinkles before baking them in the oven.

Sprinkles Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Add cocoa powder to the dough and a sparkle of sugar on top.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies Recipe

Whole Wheat Thumbprints

Swap some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour then a “thumbprint” of your favorite jam (I used strawberry) or dulce de leche gets added after baking.

Whole Wheat Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

And guess what?! October is National Cookie Month! Which seems kind of weird to me, you’d think it would be December with all the holiday baking but alas it is not; it is NOW! To celebrate I want to give one lucky winner a basket of cookie-making goodies from some of my favorite gadget-makers.

Cooking Baking Giveaway

The Giveaway

  1. Silpat Perfect Cookie non-stick baking mat
  2. Dreamfarm Levups measuring cups
  3. Dreamfarm Levoons measuring spoons
  4. Casabella Cookie Dough Tray with Lids
  5. V-Etched Spice Grater

A prize package worth more than $85!!

Here’s what you do to enter:

  1. Leave me a comment below answering this question: If you could only have one cookie for the rest of your life what would it be? Preferably with a recipe so I can make it and add it to my Pinterest board ‘Desert Island Cookie Recipes’…..just kidding you don’t have to leave a recipe (unless you want to).
  2. Then hop on over to Facebook and Twitter and follow me there (leaving a comment that you did so) for extra chances to win!

You must be a US resident to enter. Winner will be announced in one week on Thursday November 3, 2016. Good Luck!!

Polverones: One Recipe, Four Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen (2-inch) cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fat (I used butter, vegan butter, vegetable shortening, and extra virgin coconut oil and all worked great)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to mix and break up any lumps.
  3. Combine fat and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs one at a time, letting the first one incorporate completely before adding the second. Add vanilla and beat another minute.
  5. Add flour and mix on low until fully incorporated. Add any mix-ins like chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, and mix on low until combined.
  6. Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet and space about 1-inch apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges but still soft in the middle. Let cool on the baking sheet about 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. For Spiced Vanilla Cookies:
  8. Increase vanilla extract amount to 1 tablespoon
  9. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  10. For Whole Wheat Thumbprints with Jam or Dulce de Leche:
  11. Change flour amount to 1 cup all-purpose and 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour. Chill dough for at least 1 hour then roll dough into balls and bake as directed above. When they come out of the oven, immediately press a indentation in the middle with a round wooden spoon handle. Fill each hole with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of your favorite jam (I used strawberry) or dulce de leche.
  12. For Sprinkle Cookies:
  13. Add 1/2 cup sprinkles (I like nonpareils but jimmys also work) to the dough with the flour. Pour another 1/2 cup of sprinkles in a shallow dish. Chill dough for at least 1 hour. Roll into balls and then flatten slightly. Dip the top of each cookie into the sprinkles pressing gently to adhere. Bake as directed, adding more sprinkles right after they come out of the oven if you want them completely covered.
  14. For Chocolate Sugar Cookies:
  15. Add 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the flour mixture. Roll dough into balls as directed then roll each ball in granulated sugar before baking. Bake as directed.

This post was sponsored in conjunction with Coaction PR. All recipes and opinions are my own. 

Breads, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto

October 10, 2016
Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto is the traditional Day of the Dead bread flavored with sweet pumpkin, cozy spices, and a sprinkling of sugar.

Pan de Muerto is the traditional yeasted, slightly sweet bread made around this time every year for Dia de los Muertos. You’ve seen me make many variations over the years but I’ve fallen especially hard for pumpkin spice this year and it upped and slipped its way into my pan de muerto too.

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

What is Pan de Muerto?

Upon first glance pan de muerto may seem a little intimidating but if you’ve made any sort of yeasted bread before than this is no different. The shaping of the “skull” and “bones” on top is really the hardest part (aside from waiting for it to rise) and that takes little more than rolling the dough into ball and snake shapes which is something you’ve been doing since preschool so I know you’ve got this.

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

How Do You Make It?

For step-by-step pictures on how to shape the loaves go to my Chocolate Anise Pan de Muerto recipe which breaks it down in photos plus features a very adorable 3-year-old Hiro. Just make sure you read the recipe all the way through once or twice because it does involve about 4 hours of rising so you want to make sure you give yourself enough time to make the bread all the way through.

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

I made this Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto recipe for the big Dia de los Muertos fiesta that I threw with Beard and Bonnet and Salt and Wind which if you are thinking of throwing a get together to celebrate Day of the Dead you should definitely check out. There are decorating ideas, ideas for making your own altar, a complete menu, and lots of photo inspiration.

Pan de Muerto Recipes From Years Past

Chocolate Anise Pan de Muerto

Mini Pan de Muertos with Tropical Fruit

Orange Anise Pan de Muerto

 First and last photos courtesy of Beard and Bonnet

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes

Yield: 3 loaves


  • 2/3 cup milk (I used almond milk but any type of milk works)
  • 1 (7-gram) package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dried yeast
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 more for egg wash
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Pour milk into a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave to between 105°F-115°F (about 20 seconds). Or you could heat gently in a small pan over low on the stove. Use a thermometer to be accurate.
  2. Pour milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sprinkle yeast and 1/4 cup flour over the top and whisk to combine. Let sit about 10-15 minutes until creamy and slightly puffed.
  3. Add oil, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and pumpkin and stir on low to combine. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Add pumpkin pie spice, flower water, salt and remaining flour and mix on low until a dough forms, about 1 minute.
  4. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead dough on medium for 8 minutes.
  5. Grease a large bowl and transfer dough to the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubles in size, about 1-2 hours.
  6. Transfer dough to a clean surface and cut into 3 equal pieces. Take each piece and cut off a hunk of dough about the size of a lemon from each (about 1/4 of the dough). Form the larger pieces of dough into round loaves. You can use a little flour if you need to prevent sticking but try to use as little as possible.
  7. With the smaller lemon-sized pieces of dough you will cut each one in half. Take one half of each and roll that into a ball (you should have 3 walnut-sized balls). Place those balls on top of the larger round loaves you already formed. Press gently to adhere.
  8. With the remaining dough pieces you will cut each one in half and roll them into long snake-like shapes. Cut each snake in half and place each half on the round loaves around the ball on top shooting out diagonally, like a skull and bones. Press to adhere.
  9. Place loaves on a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
  10. Heat oven to 350°F. If the skull and bones on top of the loaves have shifted, rearrange them on top of the loaves. Beat remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brush egg wash over the loaves. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar over the top of each loaf and bake in the middle rack on the oven until golden and hollow sounding when tapped, about 50 minutes.

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

The Ultimate Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies (with walnuts)

September 24, 2016
The Ultimate Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I was unaware that death by avocado was a possibility until recently.

The Ultimate Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I suppose you could consume enough avocado to kill yourself (over time or all at once, either way) but what I’m talking about is the reality of getting struck on the noggin by a rock-hard avocado falling from a high height. Depends on the height I suppose, and your age, noggin size, etc. It might not be sudden death but it would definitely knock you the fuck out and I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t happened to any of us yet.

The Ultimate Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I think we’ve all grown accustom to that distinctive crack when one decides its it’s time and we impulsively duck. Luckily many of the avocados that fall from our tree land first on the roof of our house (which if you are inside in the middle of the night is loud enough to wake you up). You hear that thump first, then the avocado rolling its way down the shingles and finally landing with a solid smack on the ground. You would think all of this would crack them open or at least bruise them, but nope, there is no difference between the ones that land with a soft thud on the grass and the ones that go the Santa Claus route—not that Santa falls off the roof all that often, but I’m sure it happens.

The Ultimate Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Point being, I believe we’ve found ourselves in the middle of avocado season because those suckers are dropping like flies. July and August we would get maybe one or two a day but lately it is not unusual to gather 7 or 8 or even a dozen in a single day. I can think of worse things to have a lot of but I’m kind of running out of ideas over here.

The Ultimate Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

In an attempt to keep up, I’ve been using avocado as a substitute for butter in baking. Here’s what I’ve found:

  • You can substitute them one-for-one and the final product will be edible but rather dry and crumbly.
  • I think it is best to substitute half the butter/oil/shortening amount in a recipe with puréed avocado and keep the other half of the fat in there.
  • The avocado needs to be puréed in a food processor to incorporate it evenly into the recipe. Just mashing it leaves unattractive avocado pieces that never blend in with the mixture.

These cookies are the best thing I’ve made thus far. They are soft and chewy with lots of melty chocolate and hunks of chopped walnuts. The avocado flavor is there in the background but it is more of a hefty note of something that you just can’t detect giving the cookies substance and depth.

The Ultimate Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Here are some of my other successful avocado experiments (I’ll spare you my failures):

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs with Avocado Pickles

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

Zucchini Avocado Bread

The Ultimate Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: About 2 dozen

Bake all at once or keep some dough frozen so you can have fresh-baked cookies whenever you want. The best way to freeze the dough is to scoop out the dough and flatten the balls. Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you don't have to space them apart). Place the baking sheet in the freezer. Once the dough is frozen, peel them off the baking sheet and place in a resealable plastic bag. Pull a few out of the freezer and bake from frozen whenever the mood strikes.


  • 2 small, ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and scooped out of their skins
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 12 ounces dairy-free, semisweet chocolate chips (I used Equal Exchange Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


  1. Heat oven to 375°F and arrange rack in the upper third of your oven.
  2. Combine avocado and vanilla extract in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until smooth, you should have about 2/3 cup avocado puree.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to break up any lumps and combine.
  4. Transfer avocado mixture, coconut oil, turbinado sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low until incorporated then increase speed about 1 setting and beat until sugar is mostly dissolved and mixture is creamy.
  5. Add flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add chocolate chips and walnuts and mix on low until evenly incorporated throughout the dough.
  6. Scoop 2-3 tablespoon-sized pieces of dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1-inch apart (they don't spread much). Flatten balls slightly and sprinkle a little sea salt on top of each cookie.
  7. Bake in the top of the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until browned around the edges, but still soft in the middle.
  8. Let cool on baking sheet at least 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Popsicles

September 6, 2016
Blueberry Lemon Verbena Popsicles Recipe

Happy Fall.

Summer’s over.

That’s it.

Exceeeppppttt for popsicles. We still have a few warm days left, right?

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Popsicles Recipe

I have been working on these popsicles all summer so know, deep down in your beating heart, that they are worth making. This recipe is actually derived from a sorbet recipe I used to make when I was the pastry chef at Firefly Restaurant in San Francisco like 200 years ago and was in one of those stacks of papers that reemerges when you move. It was a time when I tinkered with herbed-infused fruit desserts. I found many treasures in there so stay tuned.

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Popsicles Recipe

I don’t often like to create recipes that include ingredients most people can’t buy but lemon verbena is a gardener’s herb, and similar to rhubarb, I feel like if you can’t buy it, there’s a good chance you grow it. If you aren’t familiar, lemon verbena is an herb with tall, slender leaves and an addictive perfume of fresh zested lemon rinds. The leaves themselves aren’t sweet but are perfect for steeping; in water to make tea, or with sugar to make syrup. After steeping the leaves to make syrup (instructions follow below) let them dry, then crumble and add to some granulated sugar for lemon verbena-scented sugar. This, in turn, can be sprinkled on top of cakes or cookies or stirred into drinks.

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Popsicles Recipe

If you do have some growing in your garden or like me, you have a friend that does these popsicles are a good place to start.

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Popsicles Recipe

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Popsicles Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 12 popsicles


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon verbena leaves
  • 1 pound blueberries (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add lemon verbena, remove from heat, cover and let steep until cool. Strain.
  2. Combine blueberries, syrup, and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

Breakfast, Drinks, Recipes, Snacks

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Superfood Smoothie

August 19, 2016
Peanut Butter chocolate chip Superfood Smoothie Recipe

This post is sponsored by Society Culinaria on behalf of Cacique. All opinions and the recipe are my own. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make this blog possible.

It is back to school time again and even though we should be soaking up those last bits of summer the one thing all us parents are thinking is,’ Ugh! Let the morning rush begin’.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Superfood Smoothie Recipe

Getting your kids out of bed and off to school with full bellies and combed hair should be an Olympic sport. Move over Usain Bolt, you may be the fastest man on earth but can you “lovingly” coax your children into eating their breakfast, brushing their teeth, putting on presentable clothes, gathering all their homework, and be out the door on time, with shoes on without repeating “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” seven million times?

I’d like to see you try.

My child may or may not show up to her first day of school with perfect braids or even on time but at least I’ve figured out the breakfast rush. With the help of Cacique’s Yogurt Smoothies I can make a filling breakfast she can take on the go with loads of protein, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Superfood Smoothie Recipe

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip may seem more like the name of a milkshake but this smoothie is deceptively healthy. The yogurt smoothie all by itself has 8 grams of protein and 25% of daily calcium needs not to mention healthy probiotics and added fiber, plus sweetened with prunes keeps the sugar content low and the calories down.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Superfood Smoothie Recipe

Then add the healthy fat from avocado, antioxidants from bittersweet chocolate and added protein from peanuts and you’ve got a powerhouse of a drink that is incredibly tasty and will keep little bellies full until lunchtime.

If putting stuff in a blender is too much for your mornings (I get it), there are lots of other Caicque yogurt smoothie flavors like strawberry-banana, piña colada, or guava that would be perfect to just grab and go or stick in a lunch box.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Superfood Smoothie Recipe

Try these other recipes using Cacique Yogurt Smoothies:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Superfood Smoothie Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Peanut butter, bittersweet chocolate, and creamy avocado all get blended with Cacique's yogurt smoothie for an easy on-the-go breakfast.



  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, adding the peanut butter last. Pulse on high until well combined. Pour into a glass and enjoy!