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Dulce de Frijol {Bean Candy}

31 comments /
As I sit next to the window thinking about a new year and a renewed outlook, I see raindrops battling the cold.  The cold is wrapping itself around the falling water as it slants through the sky, turning it white.  But the minute it hits the cobbled bricks, the white spreads into a shimmering sheet of water.  A crow as big as a chihuahua is pecking for sustenance in the moist earth, anticipating a freeze, I imagine.   The sky is bright, yet muted with fat grey clouds.  Fierce winds whip through the barren trees and the wind chime with the faded yellow glass pendulums that I forgot to take down is clanging urgently.  I can feel a static charge in the air, yet it's as if the world around me is stuck in limbo.  Change is coming.

I don't make resolutions.  I won't keep them.  No matter how resolute I am.  It's more like striving to be in a better place...or mind set...always looking forward.  Embracing the good and holding negativity at bay.  Since this is the way I hope to live daily, it's much easier to keep up throughout the year.  Of course I do hope to get a bit healthier, see a new place or three, and take more time to write; I just don't want to announce it so solidly that I'll surely shrug it off in a month or two.  Since that's what I do.  

So, as I ease myself toes first into this new year vast with possibilities, I offer a change...a transformation, if you will...that is at the time baffling and comfortable.  The bean, a humble work-horse in the kitchen becomes a rich, seductive sweet worthy of the ooohs-and-aaahs it induces.  Most people's eyes grow wide with disbelief when they find out the humble origins of this cinnamon-tinged gooey sweet studded with raisins and rolled in a thin jacket of sugar.  It reminds me that subtle twists and shifts in direction can lead to bright, unexpected paths.  Happy 2012.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."  -Mahatma Gandhi
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Dulce de Frijol {Bean Candy}

by Heather Schmitt-González (adapted from My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson)
Prep Time: overnight
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Keywords: dessert legumes cinnamon Christmas Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos Easter candy Mexican

Ingredients (~40 pieces)
  • 1 c. dried pinto beans , picked & rinsed
  • 2 qts. water
  • 1 stick canela (Mexican cinnamon)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • ¾ c. raisins
for rolling:
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground canela
Instructions

Cover the beans with cold water by a couple of inches and soak overnight in the fridge.

Drain beans and place in a medium pot with the 2 quarts of water and the stick of canela. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until beans are tender, ~60-75 minutes. Remove canela and stir in salt. Remove from heat and let cool.

Purée in a food processor or blender together with any remaining liquid (which shouldn't be more than 1 cup). If there is no liquid left after cooling, you could add a bit of extra orange juice to help it move smoothly through the food processor or blender, if needed.

Combine sugar with the orange juice and zest in a medium pot over medium-high heat and cook until slightly syrupy, ~10-15 minutes.

Add the puréed beans and continue to cook, stirring almost continuously with a wooden spoon, over medium-low heat, until there is no more liquid and you can see the bottom of the pot when you pull a wooden spoon through the mixture, 35-45 minutes. The mixture should be thick and hold together when you lift it.

Turn off heat and stir in raisins. Transfer to a bowl to let cool. I think it's easiest to work with once the mixture has been refrigerated overnight.

Combine sugar and cinnamon. Using a scant Tablespoon of the mixture, roll into gumball-size balls. Drop into sugar-cinnamon mixture and toss to coat. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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I am sharing this post with:
MLLA 43: hosted by Claire at Chez Cayenne
MLLA43small weekend cooking crazy sweet tuesday SweetToothFriday sweets for a saturday ybr_Button

31 comments

  1. Oh what a beautifully written post, and what a very cool recipe - never seen these before.  Happpy New Year!

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  2. Peggy @ Peggy Ann's PostJanuary 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of pinto beans and candy together! Thanks for the very unique recipe and Happy New Year

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  3. That is so unexpected! But it looks beautifully fudgey.

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  4. Heather, I wanted to thank you for the inspiration I've drawn from your lovely blog over the past year!  If not for you, I don't think I would have continued my blog with such vigor!  Each visit to your site has taught me more than money can buy. Your words, recipes and photos have shaped so much of my food blogging journey and for that I'm truly thankful!  Many blessings to you and yours for the coming year!

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  5. This is such a gorgeous post, Heather! Between the photos of this delectable candy and that sentence at the end - "It reminds me that subtle twists and shifts in direction can lead to bright, unexpected paths." which I am undoubtedly hanging on my wall. Love it.

    Happy new year!

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  6. These sound really good. I have never heard of bean candy. I too often fail at resolutions. This year though I am instead setting some daily intentions for living life day to day. Hope the New Year brings you much happiness and Success.

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  7. I had black bean fudge this Christmas and it was just scrumptious - so am saving this. Love the idea of incorporating beans into candy - and a great treat for my vegan friends. Happy New Year! 

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  8. Beautiful post, Heather.  The candy sounded interesting to me but once you showed the bitten one my mouth started watering.  Happy 2012.

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  9. Would never have thought beans as a sweet like this, but don't mind if I do....

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  10. This sweet looks really really yummy. Love your blog even though I have never commented before I usually visit you. Congrats and happy new year ^

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  11. Oh, thank you so much...that's great to hear. So glad you stopped to say hello today. Happy New Year to you, too! =)

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  12. Thank you so much, Rebecka...it feels awesome to hear that. I wish you a very, very wonderful 2012!

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  13. Change is good. Happy New Year, Heather!

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  14. This looks awesome, Heather. What a creative way to use beans! Thanks for sending this over to My Legume Love Affair.

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  15. What a fun, unique and delicious looking and sounding treat! 

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  16. As all your recipes - these rolls look delicious

    Have a wonderful year Heather, with lots of great posts 

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  17. Unusual candy idea. Love it. Happy New Year!

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  18. This recipe starts the new year off with a bang Heather!

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  19. These look SO good! You know that I love making foods with surprising ingredients, so you also know that I will be making these soon. :)

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  20. beautifully written...as always. fabulous recipe...reminds me a bit of the asian sweets but with the fab latin american flair :) happy new year!

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  21. I'm form Mexico and I've never heard about these candies, they seem quite delicious and I just want to give them a try

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  22. you have such a great way with words, i love reading your beautifully written posts.  i love your attitude.  i'm very much looking forward to the new year too.  these candies look amazing, i love that they're made with beans!

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  23. Your writing is simply perfect Heather and these candies well they are amazing. I made them last year and i might have polished off a dozen alone, lol.  wishing you the best in 2012 and look forward to a year filled with comida y amistad.

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  24. Shut your mouth.....bean candy?  I need it!

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  25. Great pictures.  Great post.  Happy New Year, Heather!

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  26. So unusual...I have never heard of bean candy! I have to say I'm intrigued...they look delicious! I'd love to give it a try!  Happy New Year! 

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  27. Dorothy @ Crazy for CrustJanuary 4, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I never would have thought of this! Not in a million years...but it looks so good my mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!

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  28. I would never believe there were beans in there unless you had told me!

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  29. Beautiful post Heather. I hope the new has gotten off to a great start for you. Can you believe I have never tried dulce de frijol, or at least I don't think I have. Regardless your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for participating in the YBR :) 

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  30. I would say that beans sound so strange for a sweet, but I've made and eaten Pastéis De Feijão (Portuguese bean tarts) and they are great. This looks soooo pretty and I think I have pinto beans somewhere that are begging to be made in a crazy but delicious way :)

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