Recipes for Los Dias De Los Muertos 

Pan de Muertos (Bread for All Soul's Day)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of anise seed
2 packets of dry yeast
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of butter
4 eggs
from 3 - 4 1/2 cups of flour

Mix all dry ingredients together except the 3 - 4 1/2 cups of flour.
In a small pan, heat the milk, the water, and the butter. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture.
Beat well.
Mix in the eggs and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Beat well.
Put in the rest of the flour, little by little.
Knead the mixture on a floured board for 9-10 minutes.
Put the dough in a greased bowl and allow it to rise until it has doubled in size (about an hour and a half at sea level).
Punch the dough down and reshape it with some "bone" shapes on top to decorate it.
Let it rise another hour.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes.
After baking, sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar and colored sugar.

Tres Leches 'Three Milks'


5 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease and flour a 8 x 12 inch pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Separate 5 eggs, and beat the egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup sugar slowly to the egg whites, beating constantly. Add the yolks one by one, beating well after each addition. Stir in the 1 teaspoon vanilla. Sift the flour, and stir it into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 20 minutes, or until done. Cool.
Blend the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Pour this syrup over the cooled cake.
To make Meringue Frosting: Beat 3 egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Frost the cake.


Alfeñique de Día de los Muertos(Sugar Skulls)

1 egg white
1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/3 cup of corn starch
Food coloring
1 fine paintbrush

 Sift powdered sugar.
 Mix egg white, syrup and vanilla in a dry, clean bowl.
 Mix sugar into wet mixture gradually.
 Mix with fingers until the mixture forms a ball.
 Sprinkle cornstarch on table or board.
 Put the mixture on the table and shape into smooth, manageable ball.
 Wrap tightly in plastic and chill until ready to use. (Mixture will keep for months.)
 Use plenty of cornstarch when making skulls or other shapes.
 When the figures are dry, color them as you wish.

Chicken in Pipian Sauce


2 chickens, cut into parts
6 cups water
2 carrots, cut in half lengthwise
1 onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 celery stalk
2 parsley sprigs
4 teaspoons salt
4 black peppercorns

1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup blanched almonds
1 tablespoon corn oil or lard
2 teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon
6 guero (yellow) chiles, chopped
3/4 cup olives
2 teaspoons capers


Cook the chicken with the water, vegetables and seasonings in a large saucepan until tender. Strain, reserving the broth. Skin and bone the chicken, and set aside.

To make the sauce, toast the sesame seeds lightly in a skillet, stirring constantly, until they are fragrant. Puree the sesame seeds with the almonds and 2 cups of the chicken broth.

Heat oil or lard in a skillet, add the blended sesame-seed-almond mixture, and cook for 5 to 8 min., until thickened.

Add 2 to 3 more cups of the broth and chicken bouillon and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the chiles, olives, capers and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes, and serve hot.

Makes 8 servings.