RECIPES / Desserts
This is a delicious and unexpected dessert with a twist. It could also be used as a side dish for poultry or pork dishes. This recipe follows the lastest trend in combining sweet and savory. These tasty tamales would be a festive addition to your holiday buffet, too.
Maplelicious Sweet Tamales with Guajillo-Chocolate Sauce
15 dried corn husks (2 oz, or 1/4 package)
2 cups masa harina for tamales
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup vegetable shortening or butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes [2 sweet potatoes baked in microwave or regular oven until tender then peeled and mashed]
1/4 heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon chipotle-flavored pepper sauce (or to taste)
1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
6 dried guajillo chiles (about 1.5 oz)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground canela
1 tablespoon fresh grated orange zest
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
8 oz. dark chocolate
1-2 teaspoons chipotle-flavored pepper sauce
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Soak corn husks in large bowl of hot water for 1/2 hour, then separate and continue to soak until pliable, up to 1/2 hour more. Tear one or two husks into 1/4-inch strips to use for tying the tamales.

Boil 1 cup water in medium saucepan. Remove from heat and gradually stir in masa. Cover and let cool.

Combine 1/3 cup water, syrup, and small pinch salt, if using, in small saucepan. Bring to simmer, simmer for 5 minutes. Take pan off heat and stir in coconut, if using. Cool.

In Cuisinart stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, cream butter or shortening with baking powder. Add masa and coconut mixtures, and beat until dough is smooth, fluffy, and light.

In medium mixing bowl, stir together sweet potato, cream, butter and pepper sauce.

Arrange steamer rack in very large stockpot and add water to just below bottom of rack. Cover and bring water to boil.

Place 12 drained corn husks on work surface. Put 3 to 4 tablespoons masa dough into center of one husk. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons sweet potato mixture on top of masa and sprinkle some dried cranberries on top. Fold long sides over filling, then tie ends of tamale shut with husk strips.

Repeat process to make 12 tamales. Place upright, leaning against one another, in steamer. If necessary, insert pieces of crumpled foil between tamales to keep them upright. Cover and steam until dough is firm to touch and separates easily from husk, adding more water to pot as necessary, about 1 hour.

While tamales are steaming, prepare sauce:

Wipe guajillo chiles clean with a damp cloth, then slice off stem ends and remove seeds. Preheat large skillet over medium heat, then toast chiles, turning frequently, until fragrant and beginning to darken, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl, cover with cold water, and soak 20 minutes.

While guajillos are soaking, toast chiles de arbol in same skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate and cool.

Drain guajillos and combine in blender with chiles de arbol, pineapple, garlic, cumin, cloves, canela, orange juice, orange zest and 1 cup water. Blend until very smooth.

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat and fry sauce, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, 30 minutes. Mix in vinegar and syrup; season with salt. Strain sauce through fine sieve, discarding solids. Cool completely. (Sauce can be made ahead and stored, covered, in refrigerator. Before using, taste and add salt if needed.) Sauce may be warmed before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Serve tamales with sauce passed separately. To eat tamales, unwrap and remove from corn husk, drizzle with sauce, and enjoy!

• Dried corn husks can be found in the Latin/international and/or produce food aisles of most large grocery stores.
• Masa harina, also called corn flour or instant corn masa mix for tamales, is corn that has been treated with lime and water then ground and dried. My preference is the Maseca brand. If you buy Quaker masa, the most common brand available in the U.S., be sure to buy the "Masa Harina de Maiz," not the "Harina Preparada Para Tortillas." Regular corn meal can not be substituted for masa.
Canela, also called true, Mexican, Ceylon, or Sri Lanka cinnamon, is a less pungent variety than the cassia cinnamon commonly used in the U.S.
• Guajillos are large, dark-red chiles with a nutty flavor and not too much heat.

Servings: 6 Servings (two tamales + 2-3 tablespoons)

Nutritional information per serving

No nutrition information available

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