Children’s School Tamales

(I purchased the masa and corn husks at La Esperanza supermarket on Mission St.)

For the dough.

3 cups  masa harina

2 tsp baking powder

2.5tsp salt

1 tbsp ground cayenne*

1 tbsp paprika*

1 & ¾  cups butter, room temp

1cup vegetable or chicken broth

(*I used much less in class to make them mild)

In a large bowl mix the butter until light and fluffy. Add in baking powder, salt, cayenne and paprika. Add the masa and broth in ¼ cup increments, beating in between, until it resembles cookie dough.

For the filling.

1 med onion

1 small green bell pepper

4 garlic cloves

1 med ripe tomato

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1 tsp flour

1 can of black beans, drained

¼ cup frozen corn kernels


Chop the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and garlic into small pieces. Saute for a few minutes until the onions turns clear. Add the spices, black beans and corn. Simmer until the veggies are nice and soft.

OK here’s the hard part.

Corn husks, soaked in water for at least 30 mins.

Lay a husk out flat and place a small ball( about 2-3 tbsp) of dough in center. Put a sheet of seran wrap over the dough, and use flat fingers to spread the dough out over the husk. Make it nice and thin.

Make a line of filling along the center of the husk, in the middle of the dough.

Fold the husk in half lengthways. Fold the two ends over toward the middle. If they won’t stay flat, fold the package together with twine. Placenthe tamales in a steamer, you can place them on top of one another.

Steam for about 40 mintues.  We didn’t have a steamer, so put a rack in a baking tray in the oven, with water in the bottom and foil over the top. It worked just fine.

Have fun!