Atol-atte (Dark Chocolate and Coffee Atole) & Buñuelos
Traditional Latin American Christmas favorites vary from country to country. However, almost all Latin American countries have some sort of sweet, hot beverage and crispy, crunchy, sugary desserts perched on the stovetop ready to go during the month of December. Atole reigns throughout Mexico and Central American countries. Atole is a hot drink consisting of corn starch thickened milk, and sometimes other flavorings like vanilla, chocolate or fruit. It is a thick, luxurious beverage often times enjoyed for breakfast or with a late-night desert. My atol-atte adds a little spin to the traditional concoction. A dark chocolate and coffee atole. Why? Well, why not? When the nights are cold, some people want hot chocolate, some people want coffee, some people want atole. So why not put them all together.
Although I added measurements to the list of ingredients, the below is more a how-to rather than an actual recipe. Amounts should be adjusted based on preference. The quantities I chose seem to create a mug of atole that brings out the bitterness of the chocolate, with just a lingering coffee taste mellowed out by a little sweetness from the sugar.
Buñuelos seem to be the red-headed step-child of Latin-American desserts. They are often overlooked in favor of more popular desserts like flan or churros. Although there are many variations throughout Latin America, Buñuelos are normally made from a flour-based dough that is deep-fried to perfection then passed through a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and/or drizzled with honey or brown sugar syrup. Easy to make and have on hand to snack on during the holidays or give away as edible bundles of sugary heaven.