These tamales are considered a dessert, and, like many other desserts, they are best enjoyed with a cup of atole for breakfast. Consider it the Oaxacan version of a croissant and coffee. The deep-pink color of the masa traditionally comes from cochineal bugs, which is a natural, traditional source of red food coloring that many American and European products now use. What makes these tamales particularly special is the rougher grind of the masa, which means you’ll get mouthfuls of sweet, chewy corn bits mixed in with the masa.
In a large mixing bowl, add the lard and use your hands or a rubber spatula to beat until the lard is whipped. This should take around 5 minutes.
Slowly add the masa to the lard and continue whipping.
Add the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, anise, coconut, raisins, pineapple chunks in syrup, and
When ready to assemble the tamales, lay a soaked corn husk flat on your hand and, using a kitchen brush, apply a thin layer of the carmine dissolved in water on the corn husk in an upward motion. Once the husk has been colored a vibrant pink color, apply a layer of the masa. Fold it from left to right, so that the left side of the slathered husk covers three-quarters of the leaf. Do the same with the other edge of the husk to close it up. Fold the pointy top toward the center of the tamal and set aside, folded side facing down. Repeat this process until all tamales are done.
Arrange the folded tamales in a circular pattern, lengthwise, with the open edge facing up in your tamal steamer filled with the indicated amount of water at the bottom of the pot. Once all the tamales are neatly arranged, cover everything with plastic wrap and a kitchen cloth. Steam for 1 hour. The tamales are ready when the masa easily peels off the corn husks.
Beat using your hands or a rubber spatula until the masa and lard are well-mixed and fluffy.
Add the sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, anise, shredded coconut, and raisins.
Add the pineapple chunks in syrup, and water.
Continue mixing until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated and the masa is smooth.
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