Searching for the perfect Halloween party snack? Look no further! My Frostbite Fingers (Chocolate Tamales) recipe is guaranteed to be the ultimate Halloween party pleaser.
I made a zombie finger recipe before. That recipe has bacon wrapped dates. Also called devils on horseback, I think. Don’t quote me on that one. There are other finger recipes out there that involve cookies or pretzels. But this one uses a chocolate tamale recipe to make delicious zombie fingers.
What are tamales?
The word tamale can be attributed to the Nahutal word for wrapped food. Because that’s basically what they are. Tamales are not only wrapped in either leaves or dried husks, but they’re also a dough that wraps around a filling like meats, beans, and vegetables. So, it’s a wrapped meal that’s wrapped and steamed. Double wrapped.
These portable meals became an integral part of Latin American cuisine. Each region has their own version of this meal on the go. Mexico has many savory kinds filled with pork, chicken, or beef but you’ll also find sweet versions with chocolate or cinnamon. Central American countries include rice or potatoes in with the masa mixture. These are filled with beans or cheese.
Tamales were not just portable foods easy to make in a variety of flavors. They also became part of religious and cultural ceremonies. Tamales were also given as gifts for holidays and birthdays and served at weddings. They were also given as food offerings to the Gods. Even today, tamales play a role in Latin American culinary heritage. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation.
What’s in chocolate tamale frostbite fingers?
To create these delicious Frostbite Fingers, we start by taking a classic chocolate tamale. For these tamales, I used blue corn masa because that’s what I had on hand from the last time I made simple ground beef tamales. Masa in these parts come in a really large package. More than I can possibly even consider using before it goes rancid. And yes, it will go rancid.
Good tamales are made with lard. Yes. Lard. There is nothing that can replace the tender and rich flavor of a tamale made with lard. I can attest to that. The best tamales I ever had was in Matarmores. And it was so tender, delicious, and just melt in your mouth amazing. But I didn’t put lard in these. I used butter. I didn’t want to purchase a can of lard and have it go rancid, too. It’s all about preventing food waste here.
The trick to getting the tamales tender and melt in your mouth delicious is to whip the butter before combining it with the masa. It keeps your tamales light and airy and prevents the masa from getting too dense. Like whipping your butter and sugar before adding flour for cookies.
I added some baking powder to my tamales to make them light and airy, too. Some don’t add this ingredient, but with a chocolate tamale I didn’t want them to be too dense. I mean, the chocolate masa and the chocolate filling is rich enough. You don’t want dense tamales with all that chocolate.
How do you make frostbite fingers?
Take the butter out so it can come to room temperature. Then whip it but the sugar. I used a hand mixer with a whisk attachment for about 2 minutes. I scraped the sides down a couple of times to make sure all the butter was light and airy.
Now, some say there’s a 2-2-1-1 ratio to making tamales. I love ratios because they make things easy to remember when you want to make delicious tamales. This means for every 2 cups of masa you add 2 cups of liquid, 1 cup of fat, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
So, for these tamales I used 2 cups of blue masa and 1 teapsoon of baking powder. I put those together in a bowl with the cocoa powder and cayenne pepper and stirred them with a whisk. After beating the butter, I added the masa mixture to the butter. Instead of continuing to use the whisk I used my hands. It was the best way to make sure the texture was correct. I added half of the milk and kneaded the mixture with my hands until it started to come together. Then I added another half a cup of milk because it wasn’t quite light enough.
How do you know when the dough is ready?
Now, some people will tell you to take a ball of the mixture and put it in water. If it floats, then the dough is ready. I’ve tried this trick before, but it just wasn’t quite light enough I didn’t think. It was too difficult to spread onto the husks. So, I went with a nice, spreadable masa texture but it was still thick enough to keep its shape.
Some recipes tell you to put the masa on the corn husk and then put plastic over the masa and press it into the husk. Since mine was very spreadable I used an offset spatula to spread the masa around on the husk. I put about a 1/4-inch-thick layer of masa down the center of husk. Some of my husks were pretty small so I layered a few to make sure they were big enough. Make sure you leave at least a half an inch on each side to roll the tamales.
I sprinkled some chocolate chips and pecan pieces down the center of my masa dough. You could put some chocolate and cherries or caramel chips and pecans for a turtle flavor. Maybe some whipped peanut butter and powdered sugar. That would be good! I love me a good chocolate and peanut butter combo.
Now, the trick to successful tamales is making sure that the tamales seal properly. That means masa must touch masa when you roll them up. Don’t roll them up like you would a cinnamon roll. You fold the husk to make the dough meet and then you roll the husk around the tamale and fold the end under.
Take one or two of the husks and tear them into thin strings to tie the tamale to make sure it doesn’t open when cooking. Some tie both ends like a little candy wrapper. I prefer to have them open at one end. This means they must steam standing upright. Not such an easy task. But that’s where extra husks can come in handy to keep everything in place.
I steamed mine in my pressure cooker with 1 cup of water. I set it to high pressure for 40 minutes and then let the pressure naturally release. You can serve them warm with a nice, salted caramel sauce on top. Or another chocolate sauce on top. Or a chipotle chocolate sauce would be delicious!
I thought I had pecan halves in the pantry somewhere. But I didn’t. So, I looked at what I did have on hand to make these look like frostbite fingers. I found some freeze-dried strawberries. I put them in the tamale, but that didn’t work. They just rehydrated and didn’t keep their color or look like fingernails. So, I opted to add them on the tamales after they cooked. I stuck them in the open end and it made them look just like creepy, black fingers. Frostbite fingers!
Get ready to be bewitched by these spooktacular Halloween Frostbite Fingers ????????! These creepy, yet delicious treats are perfect for a Halloween party or a frightfully fun snacking experience.
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups masa
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 10 to 15 corn husks
- 8 to 10 freeze-dried strawberries, sliced almonds, or pecan halves.
- Soak the corn husks in hot water for at least an hour. I put mine in a zip to plastic bag and filled it with water.
- Whip the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until light and airy.
- Combine the masa with the cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir with a whisk before adding to the butter mixture. You can either use the hand mixer or your hands to combine the masa with the butter and 1 cup of the milk.
- Stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined with no pockets of masa or butter. Add additional milk as needed to make the dough creamy and thick but spreadable. Test the dough by dropping small balls of the mixture into a glass of water until it floats.
- Spread a 1/4 inch thick layer of masa down the center of a husk or two husks layered together if they are small. Sprinkle a tablespoon of chocolate chips and pecan pieces down the center of the dough. Fold the husk until the edges of the maza dough meet then roll the remaining husk around the tamale. Fold the end under and tie the husk closed with thin strips of torn husk.
- Place 1 cup of water and a steamer basket into the liner of a pressure cooker or InstaPot. Arrange the tamales standing up around the edge of line making sure they’re leaning against the side of the pot and cannot easily fall over. Use additional husks as needed to make sure they stay upright.
- Cook the tamales on high for 40 minutes and allow for a natural release of the pressure. The tamales are cooked when they pull away from the husks easily. If they don’t pull away easy, then put them back in a steam for an additional 10 minutes.
- Cool slightly before garnishing the tamales with the strawberries, almonds, or pecans to make them look like fingers. Drizzle with salted caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, or strawberry sauce to look like blood.
Amount Per Serving Calories 353Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 24mgSodium 229mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 5gSugar 18gProtein 8g
Welcome to 2023’s #HalloweenTreatsWeek event!
If you’re new here, Welcome! If you’re a returning haunt, welcome back!
#HalloweenTreatsWeek is a yearly Halloween blogging event that is hosted by Angie from Big Bear’s Wife . You’ll find that this fun and spooky event is an online, week-long event that is filled with some frightfully fun Halloween treats and recipes from some fantastic Halloween loving bloggers!
For this years 6th annual #HalloweenTreatsWeek event we have 18 hauntingly talented bloggers that are sharing their favorite Halloween recipes throughout the week! You can following the hashtag #HalloweenTreatsWeek on social media to collect all of these frightful recipes to use at your own Halloween parties and events!
Make Sure to check out all of the fun Halloween recipes that we’re sharing this week!
Today’s Halloween Offerings:
- Spider Web Brownies from Semi Homemade Recipes
- Butterbeer Mousse from The Spiffy Cookie
- Halloween Witch Hats from Our Good Life
- Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes from It’s Shanaka
- Oreo Mummy Bark from An Affair from the Heart
- Fruity Halloween Rice Cereal Treats from Palatable Pastime
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies from Best Cookie Recipes
- Frostbite Fingers (Chocolate Tamales) from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Cinnamon & Sugar Crescent Roll Witch Hats from Savory Moments
- Mini Candy Corn Cheesecakes from Best Dessert Recipes
- Ghost Brownies from Savory Experiments
- Witches Brew from Jen Around the World
- Severed Hand Pies from Hezzi-D’s Recipe Box
- Kiss From A Vampire Cookies from Jolene’s Recipe Journal