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Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}

March 17, 2017
Cinnamon Roll Capriotada Recipe from @holajalapeno

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

We are mid-March and many of you might already be thinking about Easter.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada Recipe {Mexican Bread Pudding} from @holajalapeno

When I was living in Spain, I was amazed at the pomp and fanfare that surrounded Easter; bigger than Christmas, bigger than New Year’s, without a doubt the grandest celebration of the year. The entire week of Easter (Semana Santa) was an explosion of color and flowers and food and joy, the whole country comes alive.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

In Mexico, Easter and Holy Week are a very big deal as well and the Capirotada or Mexican bread pudding is very traditional at many Easter celebrations. I wanted to share with you a version I am just thrilled about. It is creamier and richer than most Capirotadas because it is made with Nestle’s Media Crema Table Cream. Media Crema is shelf-stable cream at the ready when you need it. It is great in everything from soups to coffee or baking like this recipe for Mexican Bread Pudding.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

How to Make Mexican Bread Pudding

I love this Capirotada recipe; it has everything we love about cinnamon rolls with about a quarter of the work. The day-old or toasted bread is mixed with cinnamon, raisins, a pinch of cardamom, the cream, and sweetened condensed milk. Traditional Mexican Bread Pudding always has cheese so I added Jocoque a Mexican-style Labenh, (strained yogurt cheese) that gives it a subtle tang and richness. If you can’t find Jocoque you can use Labenh or even whole milk Greek yogurt.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

The great thing about Mexican bread pudding is you can (and maybe even should) make it the night before and let the bread sit and soak up all the wonderful flavors, then bake it off the next day when you are ready to serve. The Capirotada can be served warm, room temperature, or cold with copious amounts of whipped cream of course.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

The Giveaway

To celebrate the Easter holiday I am partnering with La Lechera to host an Easter basket giveaway! This Easter basket however will not be filled with jelly beans and chocolate but with all the things that any serious baker would love like baking pans, cake stands, whisks, aprons and the like. The fun part is, just like an Easter basket, it’s a surprise, so no one knows what exactly the Easter Bunny will bring, not even me!

To Enter: Hop on over to Instagram and follow me @holajalapeno. Then between now and Easter (Sunday, April 16) post a picture of your traditional Easter food. What does your family make every year that is special just for Easter? I want to see it! I would love to hear about your tradition too, so tell me the story in the description. Make sure you tag the image @holajalapeno and use the hashtag, #holaeaster. I will select a winner, at random on Monday, April 17! I can’t wait to see your creations!

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding that is very popular around Christmas and Easter. This creamy version has cinnamon, raisins and a sweet vanilla glaze.
Serves: 10-12 Servings
For the Capirotada:
  • 8 cups cubed, day-old French bread, crusts removed (about 1 large loaf)
  • 4 (7.6 ounce) cans Nestle Media Crema Table Cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Nestle Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ¾ cup Jocoque (strained yogurt cheese)* See Note
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, optional
For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
To Make the Bread Pudding:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. If your bread is fresh, spread the cubed bread out on a baking sheet and toast 10 minutes.
  2. Combine media crema, sweetened condensed milk, Jocoque, raisins, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl. Add bread and toss to coat.
  3. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and pour bread mixture into the dish. Let sit 1 hour at room temperature. At this point you can also cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. If baking right away, grease a piece of foil and cover (greased-side down) the baking dish. Bake 20 minutes at 350°F. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes or until browned on top. If you made the Capirotada the night before, remove the plastic wrap and follow the same instructions above.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.
To Make the Glaze:
  1. Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat together until smooth.
  2. Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time until the glaze is pourable, but not too thin.
  3. Drizzle glaze over the bread pudding and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Jocoque is a strained-yogurt cheese similar to Labneh and can be found in the cheese section of many Latin markets. Substitute Labneh or whole milk Greek yogurt if you can’t find it.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? 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. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfaits

March 7, 2017
Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfaits Recipe

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

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfaits Recipe

As much as I’d like to quit sugar, I just can’t. I know I’d probably be healthier without it, but life without sweets is not a life I’d like to live. I try, however, to keep it as small and as healthy-ish as possible, especially when the kids are involved.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Every afternoon after school Louisa comes home and asks for her “candy snack” (I guess the sweet tooth doesn’t fall too far from the tree). Instead of offering her actual candy (which I admit sometimes happens) I like to give her something that offers at least a little nutritional value.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Instead of buying sweetened, fruit-flavored yogurt I like to buy plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it myself with maple syrup, honey, jam, or my favorite—dulce de leche. A dulce de leche yogurt parfait is an effortless “candy snack” and you can add as many variables as you’d like. I’m a particular fan of making a little sweet salsa with fresh blueberries, toasted, sliced almonds, and toasted shards of unsweetened coconut—you know me and my need for something crunchy. Layering this fruity, nutty layer in the middle makes the parfait feel indulgent while actually adding some nutrients to the mix.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

This is real life, so if layering stuff in a cup seems a little too, I don’t know, annoying, I get it. You don’t really need a recipe to make this just spoon the yogurt in a bowl and drizzle as much dulce de leche as you’d like over the top (you can scoop a few spoonfuls into a microwave-safe bowl and warm the dulce de leche slightly if it is too thick—20 seconds or so in the microwave should do). Add the blueberries, almonds, and coconut or some other crunchy accouterments like chia seeds, granola, freeze-dried fruit, or get real fancy and crush up some store-bought gingersnap or meringue cookies.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

The unsweetened coconut chips I found at Trader Joe’s (they’ve been added to my TJ’s must-have list) but I know Bob’s Red Mill also sells them in the organic or health food section of most grocery stores, otherwise you could use shredded coconut too.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Last but not least, these decadent, layered yogurt parfaits would make a beautiful and impressive (not to mention easy) dessert for Easter brunch so keep this one around for any upcoming spring parties friends.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfaits
Prep time
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Total time
These easy dulce de leche yogurt parfaits have creamy layers of Greek yogurt, dulce de leche, and blueberries. Try for breakfast or an after school snack.
Serves: 4 servings
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup La Lechera Dulce de Leche
  1. Toast almonds and coconut chips in a medium frying pan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. Toss blueberries with coconut-almond mixture.
  3. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of yogurt in the bottom of 4 glasses. Add about 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche then cover with a small spoonful of blueberry-coconut salsa. Repeat layers, making three total in each glass. Enjoy!

One More Thing

Did you love this post? 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. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Recipes, Sweets

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone

February 7, 2017
Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

A gorgeous blood orange tart in a rich pie crust with fresh slices of blood orange and a creamy mascarpone and vanilla cream filling.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

I’m stepping away from my typical Mexican-inspired posts today and reaching back into my pastry chef past to bring you a blood orange tart that I think would be beautiful for Valentine’s Day.

I made this blood orange tart for an Italian Polenta Party we went to a couple weeks back at Aida’s house. It was so much fun and such a great way to get together with friends to break up the winter monotony. I’ll be bringing you lots more photos and recipes from the party later this week.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

Anyhoo, I was asked to bring a dessert and wanted to stick with the Italian theme which is not hard for me since I love Italian food with all my heart and soul. Did I tell you guys we are going to Italy this summer? Specifically Rome, so please send all your recommendations. I’ll be eating everything. Like Hiro says, “Gelato for breakfast!!!”

This tart is really lovely and shows off winter’s beauty, the blood orange. A vixen of a citrus, the blood orange oozes seduction, making this a perfect dessert to make for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day—chocolate, shmocolate.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

Blood Orange Tart Tips

The crust is my standard pie dough, but I added an egg yolk to give it richness and an extra crisp snap which is a beautiful contrast to the silky mascarpone filling which, get this, requires no baking of any kind. Just whip the sweet, creamy cheese with a little zest from one of the blood oranges, some sugar, and vanilla and spread it into the tart shell.

The last step is to remove all the peel and white part (pith) from a few blood oranges so they can be sliced into perfect little slices, if you need a visual, watch this video here.

Blood Orange Mascarpone Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A gorgeous blood orange tart in a rich pie crust with fresh slices of blood orange and a creamy mascarpone and vanilla cream filling.
Serves: 12
For the Crust:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
  • 2 cups (1 pound) mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 blood orange
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 blood oranges
  • rosemary, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 (10-inch) tart pan
For the crust:
  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter pieces and toss to coat in flour. Using a pastry cutter, blend the blend the butter into the flour until it is in tiny pebble-like pieces.
  2. Add egg and 5 tablespoons of ice water and work the liquid into the flour mixture with your hands, squeezing it into the flour until it is uniformly moist and the dough holds together when you squeeze some in your hand. Add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time if needed.
  3. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Press dough into a disk and refrigerate for at least and hour and up to 2 days.
  4. On a lightly-floured surface roll dough into a ¼-inch thick circle. Gently press dough into a 10-inch tart pan. Trim dough flush with the top edge of pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 375°F. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.
  6. Halfway through baking, remove from oven and poke any air holes that have formed, pressing gently on the crust with the back of a fork until it is flat. Do it again when the crust comes out of the oven. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Crust can be made up to a day in advance. Cover cooled crust tightly with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.
For the Filling:
  1. Combine mascarpone, sugar, blood orange zest, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until stiff and fluffy.
  2. Remove all peel and white pith of the blood oranges with a pairing knife then cut into ¼-inch thick slices.
  3. Spread mascarpone evenly over cooled tart shell then arrange blood orange slices on top. Garnish with rosemary if you'd like. Serve immediately.

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. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

A big thanks to Salt+Wind for all the photos and Melissa’s Produce for the beautiful blood oranges.

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.


Breads, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Three Kings Bread {Rosca de Reyes}

January 2, 2017
Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Thanks to La Lechera for sponsoring this holiday post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Bread is a brioche-like buttery bread eaten in Mexico, Spain, and in many parts of Latin America on January 6 or Three Kings Day, a day which commemorates the biblical story of the arrival of the Three Kings or Wise Men.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

I was fifteen the first time I had Rosca de Reyes. I was studying abroad and living in a small coastal village in the south of Spain. It had been a difficult Christmas season away from my family and adapting to new holiday traditions. Even at fifteen I was confused by the lack of gift giving on Christmas morning, those were reserved for January 6, the day the Reyes Magos or Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus. Instead of stockings children left their shoes at the foot of their beds on January 5th, in hopes they’d find them filled with gifts in the morning. After the unwrapping of gifts the day was filled with a beautiful mid-day meal with a colorful, candied-fruit studded Rosca de Reyes as the grand finale.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

In Mexico glorious, shiny Rosca de Reyes fill bakeries and markets from Christmas onward and are enjoyed with cups of steaming hot chocolate for dipping. A small porcelain or plastic baby is hidden inside the bread and whoever finds it gets the honor of throwing the season’s next celebration, Día de la Candelaria, or Candlemas on February 2 with tamales and atole and botanas or little Mexican party snacks. I couldn’t find any babies to stick in my bread but I found some foil-wrapped bubble gum coins instead (a dried bean or any foil-wrapped candies are also traditional).

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

This is my first year making the bread at home and it was fun for Armando and I to share our different Rosca de Reyes memories with the kids—my solitary Spanish experience and his eating Rosca de Reyes with neighbors and family every holiday.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

How To Make It

This recipe turns the traditional round loaf of bread into a luxurious, grand dessert, topped with rings of homemade candied citrus and filled with fluffy whipped cream sweetened with creamy La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk. Filling the bread is simple; you just slice the entire loaf in half as if you were making a sandwich.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Evenly spread the sweet cream on the bottom half.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Then gently place the top back on.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

The dough is flavored with more fresh citrus zest of lemon and orange and speckled throughout with anise seed. It is beautiful interpretation of a bread fit for kings.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

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. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Candied Citrus Three Kings Bread with Sweetened Whipped Cream Recipe {Rosca de Reyes}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Homemade candied citrus and sweetened whipped cream turn this traditional bread eaten on Dia de los Reyes (January 6th) into a grand dessert.
Serves: 12-14
  • For the Bread:
  • ⅔ cup warm water (between 100˚-110˚F)
  • 1 packet (1/4 oz. or 2¼ teaspoons) active-dry yeast
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Zest of 2 large Navel oranges
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • A small figurine, dried bean or coin wrapped in wax paper
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
  • For the Candied Citrus:
  • 1 mandarin orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • For the Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Sweetened Condensed Milk
  1. STIR the water and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes in a warm place.
  2. COMBINE flour, sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, anise seed and salt in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, butter, yeast mixture and vanilla extract. Mix together with dough hook or by hand until a soft, smooth dough is formed.
  3. PLACE dough on lightly floured surface; knead gently for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place in large greased bowl; turn over. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. (THIS IS WHEN THE CANDIED CITRUS SHOULD BE MADE)
  4. PUNCH dough down. Form the wreath by rolling dough into a disk, and then use your hand to make a hole in the center. Place on large, parchment lined baking sheet (may need to use it upside down) and continue to shape the wreath. Lift up one area and insert the figurine, bean or coin that has been wrapped in wax paper by pushing it up through the bottom. Smooth out lumps or tears from surface of dough. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Allow to rise in warm place for another 45 minutes until almost doubled in size.
  5. PREHEAT oven to 350º F.
  6. BRUSH wreath with egg wash. Decorate it with candied citrus.
  7. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. (AT THIS POINT PREPARE THE WHIPPED CREAM)
  8. WHEN completely cooled, use a bread knife and carefully slice through the wreath horizontally. Spread whipped cream evenly on bottom piece of wreath. Top gently with top half. Best served immediately after adding whipped cream.
  10. SLICE mandarin, lime and orange thinly (should have about 18 slices). Carefully remove any seeds.
  11. PREPARE a large bowl with ice and water.
  12. BRING a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add sliced citrus and boil for 90 seconds. Remove slices from saucepan and place in ice water for 3 minutes. Drain.
  13. PLACE sugar and water in a medium skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add citrus slices in a single layer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, turning occasionally, for 1 hour or until skin is translucent. Remove slices and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  15. BEAT cream in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in sweetened condensed milk.
To encourage your dough to rise, heat your oven to warm and turn off. Then place your covered dough inside.
Any citrus can be candied. Experiment with oranges or grapefruit for a flavor variation.
Bread can be made one day ahead and tightly wrapped in plastic. Add whipped cream immediately before serving.


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.


10 Recipes To Try This Week

September 25, 2016
10 Recipes To Try This Week

Happy Fall Amigos! Even here in sunny Southern California there is a tinge of chill in the morning air. I’m hoping to find some kind of pumpkin patch situation to take the kids to, what are your #fallgoals? Apple picking? Pumpkin carving? Trying to make it through today? All of those are good ones. We all surely need some cozy dinner ideas.

Did you all get my new newsletter? It is full of new recipes, helpful kitchen tips, and things that I am using (and loving) right now. If you aren’t getting it, sign up by clicking on that little box off to your right that says SIGN UP NOW!

I don’t know what your week looks like, but I’m gearing up for an insane October so I feel like this week is the calm before the storm. My stomach is churning just thinking about it. I’ve put together some good comfort food for us this week for all of us who need a little extra comforting.

Have a good one my loves!


Apple Pie Coffee Cake from Nutmeg Nanny

Jicama Orange Salad from Sweet Life

Pasta with Burrata Cream Sauce, Guanciale, and Saffron from Salt and Wind

Black Pepper and Lemon Asiago Dip from Spoon, Fork, Bacon

Tequila Berry Smash from Wicked Spatula

Creamy White Chicken Chili from The Cookie Rookie

Hatch Green Chile Cornbread from The View From Great Island

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit from The Pig and Quill

Cheesy Pizza Hot Dogs from Weelicious

General Tso’s Chicken from A Brown Table

Image Via

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.