It’s pre-holiday week which inevitably causes one of two problems for those of us partake in the festivities.
Problem 1: You’re the traveler. You’re going out of town for the holiday and therefore want to buy no groceries so that you don’t leave your house with a lot of food that will no longer be edible by the time you return. The result is that you’re left searching the depths of your fridge or freezer for salvageable meals, or you’re trying to piece together ingredients into some semblance of appetizing. Or subsisting on cereal for three days.
Problem 2: You’re the host/hostess. In preparation for incoming guests and THE most important meal of the year (in your opinion) that you’ll be cooking later that week, you don’t have room in your fridge for non-holiday groceries with which to feed your family in the time leading up the holiday since the shelves are crowded with a frozen turkey/ham/vegetables/dairy/dessert which means you, too, will be eating cereal for three days.
Come Thursday, everyone will be hungry.
This year, I’m problem child #1, and Tomato and I are heading to Michigan tomorrow (say a prayer for me and non-icy roads!). Because I’ll be gone 4 days for Thanksgiving (and am then heading to Disney next Thursday), I have bought zero things at the market for this week. Zero. Strike that, I did buy some cheese. Manchego. My favorite.
Anyway, I’m finishing up the Albondigas, and also have some pumpkin bread and tamale pie in the freezer, so I’ll hardly starve. And despite my efforts to wean down my fridge food, I have a lot of remnant ingredients that I don’t really want to throw out, but also don’t really have much use for.
Luckily, Mostachónes to the rescue, and making these little bites of heaven allowed me to use of some of said remnants.
Mostachónes are a Mexican candy that is basically milk reduced to fudge like consistency. It tastes sort of like a praline. A softer praline. A balled up praline? Does that make sense? In any case, it’s good.
The story behind these, according to Spicy Foodie, is this: Legend has it that a cattleman nicknamed “Mostachón,”who lived in Northern Mexico, invented them for a special woman. Despite his wealth and abundant cattle, he still couldn’t win over her stubborn heart. One day he created a sweet confection from the milk of his own cows, adorned them with a nut, and gave them to her, upon which she immediately she fell madly in love with him. From that day forward these candies became known as Mostachónes. How sweet (pun intended).
While I’m reaching the end of the sweet threshold (does that happen? I previously though my sweet tooth had no bounds…anyway…), I happened to have some leftover evaporated milk and heavy cream from the pumpkin pie I made for Friends-giving on Saturday. This was the perfect use for them and the perfect addition to any holiday sweets table.
If you don’t want to mix the liquids (or buy two different types), simply use evaporated milk. I also added a touch of cinnamon because, why not.
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk (I used 2%)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TB unsalted butter
- 15 whole pecans, to garnish
- Combine evaporated milk, cream and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until mixture starts to come away from the side of the pan and is golden brown. (Don't worry, it'll get there!)
- Add vanilla, cinnamon and butter, and whisk to combine. When cool enough to handle, roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into 15 balls using wet hands. Place on a lined oven tray, flatten slightly and top with pecans. Set aside to firm. Store for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
- If you don't fancy using two milks, just use only evaporated milk.