Ay, caramba! Cinco de Mayo totally snuck up on me this year! I love holidays because that means there’s a theme and when there’s a theme you get to plan special occasion meals! How could I forget such an important, historical day? Wait, why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo again? I’ll bake a batch of cookies for the first person who can answer that question without looking it up. Speaking of cookies…….
I frantically scoured my recipe books and cupboards looking for my recipe for Mexican Chocolate Crinkles in honor of this very special day. Seriously, though, what are we celebrating again? That May has the number five in it? Anyway, when I finally found the recipe, I felt muy mal (that means “very bad” in Spanish. I learned a lot in three years!). The recipe called for about a half a tub of shortening. As much as I love a cookie that claims to have mexican heritage, the amount of trans fat in shortening made me feel muy, muy mal. I turned to my new trusty amigo, “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.”
I thought a saw a recipe in there a while back that was similar to my beloved Hispanic Chocolate Crinkles but it unfortunately it required ingredients that I didn’t have on hand. I had to get this food fiesta started and there was no time to make a trip to the bodega. Luckily for me, there was a recipe for Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles a few pages later. Perfecto.
These cookies are made with heart-healthy canola oil, antioxident packed cocoa powder, spicy cinnamon and a kick of cayenne pepper.
Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles
For the topping:
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
For the cookies:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I used chocolate soy milk)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix the topping ingredients on large plate
3. In large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, syrup, and milk. Stir in extracts.
4. Sift in remaining ingredients and mix until you get pliable dough.
5. Roll into walnut sized balls. Pat the dough into the sugar mixture and flatten into two inch discs. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for five minutes before transfering to wire racks to cool completely.
A lot of fiestas include your typical (Americanized) Mexican fare including tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and margaritas. If you’re really celebrating, maybe you’re just walking around town with a sombrero and a bottle of Tequila. In my world, I’m in the mood for a siesta rather than a fiesta, so I decided to rummage through the fridge to see if I could come up with a Mexican inspired dish without going to one of the eight Mexican restaurants in this town that are all suspiciously named La Tolteca, though they claim to have separate owners. Curious. What I came up with was a simple spinich salad topped with pineapple salsa. Fruit and salsa go together like Dora and that exceptionally inquisitive monkey that wears rojo boots. To make the salsa, I combined Newman’s Own Medium Salsa, roma tomatoes, pineapple chunks, corn, and a dash of chipotle powder. I put this tasty little fresco mixture on top of a bed of spinich leaves and then grabbed the phonebook to look for a little person to rent that would wear a sombrero that holds chips and salsa. It’s my husband’s Cinco de Mayo present.
Hey! Did you know that cinnamon is a source of fiber, iron, and calcium? It’s also an antibacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help with conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. Cayenne pepper has a lot to boast about too. It’s been shown to reduce pain and ulcers, open congested nasal passages, reduce symptpms of asthma, osteoarthritis, arthritis, and prevent free radical damage. It’s an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and fiber. It also has been beneficial in decreasing blood cholsterol and triglyceride levels. Don’t you think it’s time to add a little spice to your life?