Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Pinata Cookies

Cinco de Mayo... English translation...the 5th of May! This is an annual celebration in the USA and Mexico. If you check it out on Wikipedia you'll find that the date is observed in the US as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In the Mexican state of Puebla, it commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
I love these cookies, they're so bright and cheerful and if that wasn't enough there's a hidden surprise. If you can bear to smash into your little burro then you'll find a secret cache of M&Ms!

These cookies require a little effort to make but I think it was worth it, although I won't be whipping them up on a regular basis. The process started with the making of an unusual dough, it had a cup of vegetable oil in and was incredibly soft, yet not sticky. This was then divided into six with copious amounts of food colouring being added to give the characteristic pinata colours.
Once coloured the dough was layered up, one colour on top of the other in a tupperware box before being frozen overnight. To bake, slices of the dough were cut off the frozen block and baked for 12-14 minutes and then immediately upon coming out of the oven the burros were cut out of the slabs. For every two regular donkies, one was cut to make the secret hiding place. I did this with a small circle cutter and sadly his legs and ears also had to be removed! The three parts were then stuck together with a little royal icing with the M&Ms hidden inside first.
Once cut the pinata cookies were a little fragile and there were a couple of limbs lost along the way, leading to a few wonky donkeys...sorry I couldn't resist!
If you want to make your own pinata cookies then the original recipe came from the She Knows website and has full instructions. However, I'd be interested to know if anyone tries this with regular cookie dough and whether this would work just as well? I guess the concept could also be used in all sorts of other cookie creations.
Many people believe that pinatas originated in Mexico, although it has been suggested that the idea of breaking a container filled with treats came from Europe, in particular Spain in the 14th Century where they were used for the celebration of Lent. However, whilst this may be correct, apparently the true origins are Chinese with the Chinese version being in the shape of a cox or ox and being used for the New Year. 

37 comments:

  1. I love these - the idea of a little hiding place full of M&Ms is pure genius. You've done these beautifully! :)

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  2. Wow! These is really amazing! Bet the kids would love these yummy goodies! The colors are lovely! :)

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  3. Wow what a colourful post!! The kids would love this :D. You've done an outstanding job here.

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  4. WOW your photos are incredible, so imaginative

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  5. Ohh, Laura - these are adorable! What a great idea to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with cookies! Thank you for sharing!

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  6. ooh I saw these and bookmarked them to try but you beat me to it :) I was planning to use it for other holidays as it's such a cool idea! Your donkeys look perfect - exactly like the original - well done!

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  7. These are so colourful, I love them! There is nothing better than seeing a rainbow coloured cake or cookie to make me feel in the party spirit :-)

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  8. Happy Cinco de Mayo! I pinned these on pinterest too because I thought they were amazing! You have done such a great job at recreating them, for a second I thought they were just the original photos cause they were sooo good! I adore pinatas, I grew up with a Chilean best friend and she had amazing homemade pinatas every year at her birthday parties without fail...it was always so exciting!

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  9. Thanks all! I really like these, they're so cute!

    Baking addict - I also thought it would be a good concept for different celebrations etc...maybe for Christmas etc! :-)

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  10. Lovely cookies. A childs heaven! XX

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  11. AWESOME!!!!! Would be so cute for the kids ! and me

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  12. these look really awesome!!

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  13. Beautiful cookies! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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  14. Love them, sometimes I 'm not sure about the amount of food colouring I put in to some thing but the effects are spectacular!

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  15. This is really amazing and so perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Thanks so much for posting this, it is the first I have ever seen of it. Very eye catching. I will need to try this and saving the details from that link. You executed this perfectly, so I hope mine turn out as well. Enjoy the weekend!

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  16. Oh these are adorable, and such a great treat.

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  17. You are such a genius making these cake! My son will be amazed by M&M surprises! I will keep this idea in my mind if I'm going to organize a Mexican theme party.

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  18. These are so cute :) you're definitely a very talented baker! Everything you makes so cute ~

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  19. Zoe you should definitely make some of these for a Mexican themed party...they'd be perfect!

    Thanks Daisy and Tania! :-)

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  20. Great recipe! I can see how these would have been perfect for Cinco De Mayo!

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  21. Wow!!! What a fantastic idea! I love the colourful stripes. I bet these took a lot of patience to make. I'm so very impressed!! x

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  22. This is so clever! genius idea :)

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  23. I have been catching up on my blog reading and everwhere I seem to go talks about cinco de mayo which is something I have never heard of before but now know so much more. These are the best find I have come across though they are amazing! Love the smarties in them.

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  24. These look superb! Great idea to have a pinata version of a cookie and so pretty too! Incredible attention to detail.

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  25. Wow work of art, Looks like they would be so much fun to eat. Maybe even too cute to eat : )

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  26. A visual treat indeed. Thanks for sharing these. I love baking and a beginner at it and I'm so glad that I chanced upon your space. So many wonderful recipes and I have bookmarked many to try it out. I'm your new follower and do drop by mine when you find time.
    Tickling Palates

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  27. These are so exciting! I've only ever made rainbows cakes and din't consider it for cookies. How pretty.

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  28. how festive and I'll bet they taste incredible too =)) I'll definitely give this recipe a try ;-)

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  29. FABULOUS cakes for my birthday! I am a cinco de mayo baby and these are just WONDERFUL!
    Karen

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  30. These are so amazing and beautiful. Your recipes and innovative ideas never cease to inspire me.

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  31. Thank you! :-)

    Karen...I obviously made them especially, in honour of your birthday!

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  32. These look FANTASTIC! I'll definitely add them to my 'to-bake' list!! It's a brilliant idea!

    xx Maria
    http://themixing-bowl.blogspot.com/

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