I spoke a little bit about pan dulce (sweet bread) when I made pumpkin empanadas a few weeks ago. Mr. H and I had dinner at a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant tonight and they had a case full of mexican pastries. And they all looked so good, so we bought $8 worth :-)
A plate full of pan dulce!!!
First up we have a Concha. They come in a few colors- (brown, yellow, white and pink) and have different designs cut into them. They're a light, airy egg bread topped with a very lightly sweetened shortening design to resemble sea shells.
This burrito looking thing is a Flauta de Manzana or an apple flute It's a little fatter than a flute, but it's basically pastry wrapped around an apple filling and sprinkled with coarse sugar. They also come in other flavors such as pineapple and cherry.
This is a Churro. It's a long fried piece of dough (about 8-12 inches long), similar to a doughnut, then rolled in cinnamon sugar. This one happened to be filled with a caramel-cream. (Donna are you excited yet?)
These are some of my favorites- Polvorones. They're just cookies, very similar to shortbread but not very sweet, and made with shortening not butter. They come in a few different colors (brown, yellow, white and pink!) but the most common is the pink. They're hard and dense, but crumbly. Sometimes they're sprinkled with sugar, as these are. They all have a similar taste, except for the brown ones, which are cocoa.
And lastly, Flan, which is pretty common. It's a creamy custard baked in a ramekin (for single servings) and homemade caramel. Once it's cooked and cooled and refrigerated you turn it out and the caramel becomes a sauce over the vanilla custard.
Hope you've enjoyed this public service announcement about Pan Dulce. Sometimes you can find them in grocery stores but more likely in Mexican bakeries. If you ever come across them, I hope you'll give them a try. Enjoy!