Alegrias are very common in Mexico City. Alegrias are bars of sweetened amaranth which is an ancient grain.
- 3 cups amaranth
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
- 1lb piloncillo
- 1/4 cup of water
Heat a pan over medium heat and toast the amaranth until it begins to puff up, similar to popcorn. Mix in the raisins and peanuts and set it aside. With a serrated knife, coarsely chop the piloncillo into smaller pieces. In a saucepan, heat the water over medium heat and add the piloncillo just before it begins to simmer. Stir the piloncillo until it dissolves. Pour the piloncillo syrup over the amaranth mixture and stir to coat. Press the mixture into a greased cookie sheet or 9x13 baking pan. Let it cool and then cut into bars or squares. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
You can substitute 1 cup of honey for the piloncillo syrup. Gently warm it over low heat in a saucepan until it begins to thin. Then use it as directed in place of the syrup.