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Top 10 Holiday Recipes

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In Mexico, the women all gather together and cook large amounts of food for the holiday festivities. They make all sorts of authentic Mexican dishes, sometimes spending days in the kitchen. Even if you don't have that kind of time, making even one or two of these delicious recipes will bring the flavors of Mexico to your holiday celebrations.

1. Tamales

You may be surprised to find out that tamales top the list of favorite holiday fare in Mexico. It's because they require so much time to make and so they are usually only made a few times a year in very large batches. Steaming hot tamales are a perfect food for the holidays and you have to unwrap them like a little present.

2. Mexican Wedding Cakes- Cookies

One of the first things that come to mind when you think of holidays is probably "baking." Either you, or some one you know, spends hours in the kitchen making all the family favorites. Cookies usually top the list with all kinds of varities from traditional to unusual. These Mexican Wedding Cakes will make a perfect new addtion to your favorite cookies list with their delicate shortbread texture and flavor of roasted pecans.

3. Rosca de Reyes- "Three Kings Bread"

Made for Posadas in late December or Día de los Santos Reyeson January 6th, this sweet holiday bread is shaped like a wreath and decorated with candied figs, lemon, cherries and mango. A little baby Jesus doll is baked into the bread and whoever gets the piece of bread with the doll in it has to provide food for the next party which is for Candleria or Candlemas on February 2nd.

4. Atole

This thick, rich porridge-like drink is a traditional holiday staple in Mexico. Served for breakfast or with lunch or dinner, it is satisfying and filling. Sweetened with brown sugar, cinnamon and topped with fruit. The holidays just wouldn't be compete without a steaming mug of authentic atole. Try it and you'll see why this Mexican drink is a holiday favorite.

5. Pan Dulce

These sweet Mexican rolls are made fresh daily in local panaderias. Almost like a Mexican doughnut, they make a great addition to your morning cup of coffee and a festive addition to your holiday menu. You can color the topping red or green or use colored sugar sprinkles to decorate them.

6. Capirotada

This a thick, rich Mexican bread pudding. This recipe flavors the capirotada with apples, pecans, cinnamon and raisins. A piloncillo (or brown sugar) syrup sweetens the dish which can be topped with whipped cream.

7. Rompope

A thick, frothy drink similar to egg-nog. It is flavored with rum and cinnamon and uses almonds to to thicken it. A truly delicious beverage.

8. Biscochitos

Although the idea for these cookies originated from Spanish recipes, and was perfected in New Mexico, they are still found in Mexican bakeries. New Mexico has a large hispanic population and culture and recipes flow back and forth over the border. These cookies are perfect for holiday celebrations, flavored with anise seed and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Biscochitos are usually shaped in a fleur-de-lis, although I've even seen biscochitos in round and oval shapes.

9. Arroz con Leche

A wonderfully thick and rich rice pudding flavored with cinnamon and condensed milk. Serve hot, topped with cinnamon and butter. This is a great holiday recipe to serve for breakfast, or as a dessert and good for any chilly day.

10. Champurrado

When you wake up on a freezing December morning or if you're enjoying time with family next to a warm fire in the fireplace, a cup of this warm chocolate drink is perfect to sip on and enjoy during the holidays.
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