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Tamales de Dulce
Sweet Tamales

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Ingredients:

Cornhusks, aluminum foil, or parchment

4 1/2 cups Masa Harina tortilla flour
2 2/3 cups warm water
1 2 cups shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped mixed candied fruits and peels
1/4 cup chopped almonds or pine nuts

Directions:

Soak cornhusks in warm water several hours or overnight to soften. Pat with paper toweling to remove excess moisture. (Or, use 8x6 inch squares of foil or parchment.) Mix tortilla flour and 2 2/3 cups water; let stand 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in large mixer bowl beat together shortening, sugar, salt, and cinnamon till fluffy. Beat in flour mixture till well combined. In separate bowl, mix raisins, fruits and peels, and nuts.

Measure 1/4 cup of the flour mixture onto each tamale wrapper; spread to a 5x4 inch rectangle, having one long edge of dough at edge of wrapper and leaving equal spaces at the ends. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the fruit-nut mixture onto dough about one inch in from the long edge, bringing the filling out to both ends. Roll tamales jelly-roll fashion starting with the edge nearest filling and being sure to make a tight roll. Tie ends securely with pieces of cornhusk or string (for foil, fold ends under or twist to seal).

Place tamales on rack in steamer or electric skillet. Add water to just below rack level. Bring to boiling; cover and steam over medium heat 1 2 hours or till tamale pulls away from wrapper. Add more water as needed.

Makes 18

For a different filling you can use 1 to 2 teaspoons Fruit preserves or jam to fill each tamale.

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