Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tamalitos de Queso, Chachama, y Tustaca (3 Different Corn and Cheese Based Desserts)

THIS IS A SPECIAL TRIPLE POST the reason I am putting these 3 recipes on the same post is because they are all variations of the same type of dough and ingredients. You make 1 "master dough" and from that dough you can make 3 types of desserts. The dough is a rich dough made from "corn masa", butter, 2 types of cheeses, Mexican unsalted cream, eggs, etc. very tasty

The first dessert is "Tamalitos de Queso" (mini cheese tamale cookies?) they are like cookies with a fresh cheese, sugar, and cinnamon filling.

The second is "Chachama" it is a flat cake sweetened with unrefined solid cane sugar and has little chunks of this sugar through-out the batter that melt like caramel spread within the dough.

The third is "Tustaca" a round corn dough disk topped with lots of unrefined cane sugar that melts over it.

This recipe is from a very dear family friend we call "Tita" she is a sweet Salvadorian elderly woman who loves to share her delicious cuisine. This is her mother's recipe. So here goes the recipe I will divide it into several sections THIS MAKES A REALLY BIG BATCH, feel free to cut recipe in half. In my home even though we are cooking for 6 people today we like to always make a lot of anything and share with guests and friends any other day.

Ingredients for "Master Dough"
-6 1/2 cups "Maseca" flour
-1 tablespoon baking soda (NOT POWDER but SODA)
-1/2 cup of regular white sugar
-5 large eggs
-1 lbs. unsalted Mexican Cream
-1 lbs. "Requeson" (a type of Mexican Ricotta)
-1/2 lbs. "Queso Cotija"/ Cotija Cheese (a type of salty Latin Parmesian?)
-1/2 pound fresh Mexican Cheese "Queso Fresco" (a type of fresh crumbly yet moist cheese)
-4 sticks of melted butter (about 2 cups)
Ingredients for "Tamalitos de Queso":
-1/2 of the "master dough"
Ingredients for filling of "Tamalitos de Queso"
-1/2 lbs. fresh Mexican Cheese
-1 cup white sugar
-1/4- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon powder (cinnamon to taste)
Ingredients for "Chachama"
-1/4 of master dough
-1/2 and 1/4 cup of whole milk
-1 cup of "Piloncillo" rinsed to soften then with a knife chopped finely
Ingredients for "Tustaca"
-1/4 of master dough
-1-2 cups "Piloncillo" rinsed softened then with a knife finely chopped

Directions for "Master Dough"
(1) Put 6 1/2 cups "Maseca" in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1/2 cup sugar, dump in Requeson, Unsalted Mexican Cream, and kneed well it will be dry. In a blender add beaten eggs, add 4 sticks of melted butter, 1/2 lbs. crumbled by hand fresh cheese, and 1/2 lbs. "Cotija Cheese" blend carefully if needed use a spoon to carefully press down and make it easier to blend, it won't blend perfectly but do the most you can without burning your motor, food processor would work good to.
(2)Add all the contents from the blender and knead the dough until you obtain a dense corn dough that is a "masa" texture like a bread dough? Set aside.

Directions for filling of "Tamalitos de Queso"
(1)Get 1/2 lbs. fresh Mexican cheese, 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, knead it like dough until all smooth and incorporated. Set aside. (my mom accedently threw in to much cinnamon it was still good)
Directions for making "Tamalitos de Queso"
(1)Get 1/2 the master dough, make medium sized golf balls, flatten them, put 1 teaspoonful of filling, close like a ball then flatten not to much like a fat cookie. It is OKAY to have cracks it will taste really good and better the ;) place on a baking dish that is buttered and bake until golden brown about 1 hour or so at 350 degrees fahrenheit. (which is like 180 degrees celsius?)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Directions for Chachama:
(1)Get 1/4 master dough, add 1/2 and 1/4 cup whole milk, and "Piloncillo" sugar, mix and knead well it will be like a gloppy batter? Put in a baking pan like a cookie sheet flat about 1/2 - 1 inch thick and bake about 1 hour at 350 degrees fahrenheit/ 180 celsius.

Directions for Tustaca:
(1)Get 1/4 dough devide into 10 balls, flatten on a greased baking dish not too flat, make it round border then lightly press all over with finger tip, sprinkle with finely chopped chunks of "Piloncillo" bake for about 1 hour. Your done


is a type of dried finely ground corn flour dough it's called "Masa Harina" the popular brand is "Maseca" found at specialty or Mexican/ Latin stores. It is a short cut way to make "tortillas" ,"tamales", "pupusas", etc. If you can't find it there is no substitute in this recipe for it, maybe just maybe regular white flour but it will produce completely different texture, smell, and taste. BUT DO NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY OTHER KIND OF CORN FLOUR.

(2)The following is off the top of my head. If you can't find "Queso Cotija" maybe it can be replaced with "Parmesan Cheese", if you can't find "Unsalted Mexican Cream" maybe you can replace with regular Sour Cream, if you can't find "Requeson" maybe "Ricotta" cheese will work, if you can't find "Piloncillo" maybe dark brown sugar will work but will not produce same results, maybe taste but not texture.

(3)This recipe makes about 36 of the cookie looking things "Tamalitos de Queso", about 1 big cookie sheet of the thin "Chachama" cake like thing, and 10 medium large sized "Tustacas" (round disks with sugar topping)

If there is any ingredients you do not understand/ don't know what it is feel free to ask me or use google (a internet search engine)

-Everything was delicious but she likes things to be WAYYYY to toasted for my taste but it was still good, I'd just let it get golden brown.
-The first cookies "Tamalitos de Queso" I would add more white sugar to taste to the dough like atleast 1/2- 1 cup extra I think the extra sugar for those cookies would be good because the "Cotija Cheese" is salty so the sugar will balance the cheese more since the filling isn't enough on it's own to give "body" to the cookie it's just like a swirl/ thin layer. Everything else was fine :)