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Cinco de Mayo Dessert: Mexican Chocolate Icebox cookies

Mexican chocolate icebox cookies

Cakes are great, pies are good, anything gooey and sweet is fantastic. But cookies? So underrated. Cookies are, in my opinion, the best way to end a party. Put a big plate of cookies out at the end of a party and people will eat them up! I made these Mexican Chocolate Icebox cookies the first time a couple years ago, and they’ve been the sleeper hit in my repertoire.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 T (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

PREPARATION:
Sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla extract and egg. Gradually add flour mixture until dough is uniform in color and no unmixed flour remains.

Shape into two 9” logs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure the wrap is airtight. Freeze overnight. The dough will keep up to six weeks in the freezer.

When ready to use, preheat oven to 375F and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should feel a bit firm at the edges. Store in an airtight container when cool.

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Cinco de Mayo Dinner: Mexican rice recipe

taco-platesHopefully you didn’t fill up too much on and , because I believe I have a beauty of an entree idea and a gadget that is perfectly matched.

“Make your own…” bars are super fun, and incorporating them into a party is always a hit - everyone gets exactly what they want.  And a Cinco de Mayo taco bar couldn’t be more awesome! Get yourself a meat or two, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, radishes, and some leftover guacamole and pico de gallo, set them all out in bowls with a stack of warmed tortillas for soft tacos and a stack of taco shells. And I recently made the life-changing discovery of these taco plates that keep your tacos upright and your ingredients safely inside the shells.

So what’s to serve with the tacos?

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Dips for Cinco de Mayo: Pico de Gallo recipe

Pico de Gallo recipe

Pico de gallo, spanish for “rooster’s beak,” is a great fresh condiment that is made from fresh ingredients and a little fruit juice. It’s also quick to make, and fits into an celebration.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 to a whole small onion
  • 1 or 2 seeded chopped jalapeño peppers
  • Chopped cilantro to taste
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:
Put the tomatoes, onion, and peppers into a bowl. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Sprinkle the lime juice and salt on top and stir again. Done!

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Dips for Cinco de Mayo: Chorizo con Queso recipe

chorizo-c-quesoContinuing with the for , Chorizo con Queso is a classic.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound spicy chorizo
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cheddar
  • 1 cup Monterey jack
  • 1/4 cup milk (if desired)

Preparation:
Squeeze the chorizo out of its casing and fry on medium in a shallow pan. Once it’s done, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain, retaining as much of the rendered fat in the pan as possible. Pour the chicken broth into the pan to deglaze it - scrape the browned bits from the bottom. Add the chiles, tomatoes, onion and garlic and heat until bubbling. Add the chorizo back to the pan and stir until well incorporated. Add the cheese and stir until melted. If the dip is too thick for your taste, add the milk. Serve hot with chips or warmed tortillas.

PS - if you’re feeling crazy, you could always deglaze the pan with tequila instead of chicken broth for an extra kick of Mexican flavor.

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Dips for Cinco de Mayo: Basic Guacamole recipe

Basic guacamoleDips are a tasty way to get a party started. Today I have three dips for that taste great with veggies, chips, or warmed tortillas. Classic, customizable guacamole is a cool foil to a hot chorizo con queso dip, and pico de gallo is chunkier than a traditional salsa but still packs a ton of flavor. Also, it’s so incredibly simple that once the ingredients are chopped, you’re pretty much done with the entire thing. Let’s start with the guacamole:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preparation:
Scoop the flesh from the avocados into a bowl. Add the lime juice, salt and cilantro. Mash until creamy.

This is the most basic of recipes for guacamole, and there are plenty of ways to add to it. If you’re feeling a little kicky, add some pico de gallo or a little bit of salsa. Add more cilantro if you feel like it, or don’t add any at all. Maybe sprinkle some cumin on top or add some ancho chiles. The guac possibilities are literally endless.

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Cinco de Mayo: Mexican Flag recipe

Mexican Flag Drinks

So, in case our horchata recipe wasn’t strong enough for you, we’ve got something with a little more kick for your Cinco de Mayo party. Usually if I’m imbibing tequila, it’s in margarita form and I am just fine with that. But the Mexican Flag is consistently great just as it is.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of tequila
  • the juice of 2 1/2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Green seedless grapes
  • Banana

Preparation:
Dissolve the sugar into the lime juice and then mix with the tequila. Pour over ice and garnish with a cherry, a grape and a slice of banana.

Next up in our series, a trio of tasty toppings for tortillas. Okay, really it’s three dip recipes, but I love alliteration.


Cinco de Mayo drinks: Horchata recipe

horchata is here! And if you’re not hip to the actual reason the fifth of May is celebrated, let me clue you in! On May 5, 1862, 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated the French army and an army of traitor Mexican soldiers to regain control of the country in Puebla.

Anyone can go to their local Mexican joint to celebrate. But WHY? Over the course of today, I’m going to lay out easy recipes to cover your celebration, from drinks to dessert. First up, horchata!

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