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May 4, 2005 07:45 AM

Make-ahead no refrigeration Mexican dessert?

  • j

I'm headed to a Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday and would like to bring a dessert. I'll need to make it Friday night and it will need to be something that will travel well and doesn't need any refrigeration. Any ideas for cookies or brownies or anything else? Thanks!

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  1. This torte recipe has worked well for me - and should be fine at room temperature. I added some ground habenero chiles for a little kick


    1. mexican wedding cakes are easy to make. check out recipes on

      4 Replies
      1. re: spuds

        At the risk of soundnig like an idiot, are Mexican wedding cakes really Mexican? I only ask because I've also heard them called Russian Tea Cakes. I love the things, would love to make them for my Mexican party ( a mere 2.5 months away) if they are authentic. Easy, too.

        1. re: curiousbaker

          Mexican wedding cakes (also known as Mexican wedding cookies) are 100% authentic. Here in Mexico, they're known as on type of *polvorones* (pohl-voh-ROH-nays). They were traditionally prepared, wrapped in white tissue paper, and given as wedding favors in southeastern Mexico.

          Make them, make them.

          1. re: curiousbaker

            Mexican wedding cakes really are authentic. But they do bear a strong resemblance to Russian tea cakes, which I think are traditionally made with walnuts intead of pecans. (And then people like me who like pecans better than walnuts substitute them into their mom's Russian tea cake recipe, and, well, you have confusion). I've seen both versions called "Snowballs" too, because of the powdered sugar and their popularity at Christmas time.

            1. re: curiousbaker

              Well whaddaya know - I've had those! (As snowballs, a anyway). Thanks.

          2. A classic tex-mex dessert would be pralines. I don't believe that they are of Mexican origin but every tex-mex restaurant in North Texas, anyway, has pralines at the cash register, right next to these weird pink slabs of peanut brittle.

            1 Reply
            1. re: john clark

              Here's a story from Robb Walsh from the Houston Press on the origin....

              In 1938, a 67-year-old Mexican woman named Juanita Garcia was interviewed by a writer named Ruby Mosely, who was working for the WPA. Garcia's family crossed the border at Del Rio in 1877, when she was six years old. "This was free country, everything free, pecans, wood, water, wild meat," Garcia told Mosely. Garcia married a ranch hand and got a job cooking on the ranch.

              "The cowboys all time make say they like me to cook, make good tamales and all Mexican food. Then I make a try plenty hard to please them so they tell me a good cook….Mexican people want more than anything for courtesy, compliments and kindness…." When her husband hurt his back, Juanita Garcia had to provide for both of them.

              "We make a little save on the ranch money, put up a little business, make hot tamales, enchilada and pecan candy. Pecans all time free. We make wholesale, retail and peddle Mexican foods. Ranchmen all time buy from me, me work hard, make good business," Garcia said.

              Pecans were evidently a major source of income for Mexican immigrants. I also came across many Depression-era photographs of Mexican pecan shellers and candy sellers in the WPA archives. Gathering pecans, shelling them, drying them and making them into candies required a lot of labor, but no more capital than a pot and some sugar.

              The patty-shaped pecan-and-brown-sugar praline was introduced into Texas from Louisiana. The name is derived from a French candy, also called a praline, which is made with almonds. Like a lot of Tex-Mex traditions, pecans and pecan pralines don't have much to do with Mexico. But they have enormous significance for Mexican-Americans in Texas.


            2. Ooh, love those Mexican wedding cakes. I also like making my usual brownie recipe with cinnamon in it for that Mexicanish chocolate-cinnamon combination. (You can also add a dash of chili powder if you're dealing with adventurous eaters.) They've always been a big hit.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Dizzied

                I second the vote for "Mexican" brownies. A lot of people I've given them to don't even know why they love it until I tell them I put in 1/2 a teaspoon of chipotle powder and a pinch of cayenne.

                I also chop a cup of candied ginger in. Dried fruits and veggies make any cake/brownie taste more dense and moist, but I guess ginger isn't particularly Mexican.

                1. re: nooodles

                  Ginger isn't particularly Mexican, but what a great idea. I love chocolate bars with candied ginger, but never thought of incorporating it into brownies. Genius! Thanks.

              2. What about a tres leches cake? I don't have a recipe but it's something that you should make the night before so that the flavors can meld. It does need to be refrigerated in your home, but I think it can hold outside of the fridge if you serve it shortly. You could also keep it cool in an ice chest until serving time.

                This is more fusion than traditional, but the SF Chronicle cookbook has a great recipe for a chocolate ancho chile and orange cake that takes some time but is worth it! I'm not a big cake person, but this is one of my favorites! Let me know if you want the recipe...