Tamales With a Twist

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‘Food Network Star’ Season 8 Finalist Chef Martita Jara joined us with unique tamale recipes using Herdez cooking sauces for the holiday season.

Sweet Potato Tamalitos

1 (6-ounce) package dried corn husks

4-5 Sweet potatoes

For Masa:
1 cup room temperature unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking soda
4 cups Harina Maseca
3 cups warm water

For Filling:
1 (12-ounce) jar HERDEZ® Red Guajillo Chile Mexican Cooking Sauce
1 cup honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 cups baked sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 cups mini marshmallows

 For Garnish:
1 cup honey
Mini marshmallows 


Cover husks with very hot water, weigh down with plate to keep submerged in water 2 hours until husks are soft.

Heat oven 400°F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Use fork to prick each sweet potato several times all over. Place potatoes on baking sheet, bake 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 30 minutes.

With an electric mixer on high, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and baking powder in large mixing bowl. In separate bowl, using clean hands, mix together masa harina and water. Add prepared masa harina to bowl with whipped sugar butter in 3 batches while beating with electric mixer on medium low. Once all is incorporated continue to beat an additional minute until dough is light and tender.  Cover with damp cloth and set aside.

Add HERDEZ® Red Guajillo Chile Mexican Cooking Sauce, honey and cinnamon to medium sauce pan. Place pan over medium low heat, stir to combine and allow to simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place chopped sweet potatoes in large mixing bowl, pour honey guajillo sauce over potatoes, and toss to combine mashing potatoes slightly while combining.

Separate about 45 of largest husks and pat dry with towel, keep covered with damp cloth and set aside.

Add a standing steamer to bottom of large stock or tamale pot. Fill pot about 3 inches high not allowing water to go higher than standing rack, this water is for steaming. Line rack with remaining corn husks covering top of rack completely.

To form tamalitos place 2 tablespoons masa dough in upper center of husks, tapered part of husks is the bottom. With clean hands, use fingers to form 4×4-inch square of masa then add 2 tablespoons sweet potato filling with 5-6 mini marshmallows in center of square. Bring up long sides of husks forming closed shell of masa around filling, fold husk in half, then in half again and then fold bottom tapered half up creating tight closed bottom leaving top open. Repeat until all tamalitos are formed.

Stack all prepared tamalitos open sides up together in pot, folded side to the back. Place damp dish towel over tamalitos then close with tight lid. Place heat on medium low and allow to steam 1 hour 45 minutes. Turn heat off and leave covered about 20 minutes before serving.

To serve, place unwrapped tamalitos on platter, drizzle with honey, top with marshmallows and enjoy!

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