Per timeanddate.com, Cinco de Mayo is annually observed on May 5. It celebrates the defeat of the French army during the Battle of Puebla (Batalla de Puebla) in Mexico on May 5, 1862. It is not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day.
Cinco de Mayo is seen as a day to celebrate the culture, achievements and experiences of people with a Mexican background, who live in the United States.
One of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations are in cities such as Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, San Antonio, Sacramento, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver and El Paso in the USA’s south-western regions. In these cities, a large proportion of the population has Mexican origins. Many people hang up banners and school districts organize lessons and special events to educate their pupils about the culture of Americans of Mexican descent. In some areas, particularly in Pueblo de Los Angeles, celebrations of regional Mexican music and dancing are held.
American restaurants take it as a day for guac, margaritas and nachos. There is definitely a celebratory aspect of the food for Cinco De Mayo. I just thought perhaps I’d give you some back story that you may not know!
One of my favorite treats with Mexican origin is the Mexican wedding cookie. The cookies that are served at most weddings and celebrations are known in Mexico as biscochitos. The basic ingredients are nearly identical to Russian teacakes or shortbread: ground nuts, flour, butter, sugar. In Mexico they are rolled into balls or formed into crescent shapes and covered with confectioner’s sugar. These are very similar to pecan sandies if you are familiar. Try out the recipe below:
• 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
• ½ cup confectioner’s sugar (plus more for rolling baked cookies)
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup pecans
• 1 teaspoon vanilla.
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 Cream together butter and sugar with electric mixer.
3 Add flour, pecans and vanilla.
4 Mix until well-combined.
5 Scoop teaspoon of dough and roll between your palms to form a ball.
6 Place on parchment lined baking pan.
7 Bake 12 minutes, until lightly golden.
8 Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
9 Roll in confectioner’s sugar.
Until next time, Happy Baking!