Like buñuelos, mazapánes only come out for the holidays. Individually wrapped  in either waxed paper or colored saran wrap, these are light, with an almost shortbread-like texture, made with peanuts, and just sweet enough that one is completely satisfying, though we could all easily eat five or six.

There is some debate about whether they’re a cookie or a candy (they feel like a cookie to me) and whether there is any flour in the recipe. (Most recipes only list peanuts, peanut butter, and powdered sugar, but they may not be accurate.)

The mazapánes we have were gifted to my mother by her friend An, who apparently makes masses of them every year. (An is a gourmet cook and loves to share her food.)

When Mom brought these around at her posada, all the Mexican guests immediately lit up, recognizing the special holiday treat. The American and Canadian guests had to be introduced to this new delicacy.

Everyone agreed they were delicious.

And An has promised to send me the recipe… once she figures out how to write it out in English.



Just as the Madrillenos (citizens of Madrid) greet the morning with churros and chocolate, the Mexicans have a tradition of eating buñuelos at Christmas time.

Traditionally, these are caseras  – homemade. You can’t typically buy them in stores, though sometimes you might pass someone selling them on the street. (We had Lupita make a bunch for us, both for the posada we hosted on Saturday evening, and to eat with hot chocolate this morning.) Also traditionally, you make them and gift them to other people.

So what are buñuelos? Well, they’re about the diameter of a corn tortilla, but they’re typically made of wheat flour, milk, sugar, and egg, fried into a light, thin, crispy crepe-like thing, and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar while they’re still warm.

After that, you can dress them up, or not. The most popular thing to do is drizzle them with honey, but I like them plain, dipped in piping-hot cocoa.

They crunch at first, then melt in your mouth – just a touch of sweetness. But unlike churros, these are only made at Christmas.