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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Orange Glazed Carrots / Zanahorias con Tapa de Dulce

If you like carrots glazed with brown sugar, you'll love Costa Rica's answer to brown sugar with the "Tapa de Dulce".

The "tapa de dulce" is make fron raw sugar cane juice that is cooked down until it starts to caramelize and thickens enough to firmly set up in the traditional wooden molds. This solid sugar cake of "tapa de dulce" can be bought virtually anywhere, from the supermarkets to the pulperias, and the ferias (farmers'market). For those thinking coffee is the national beverage, you'd be wrong. It's actually "Agua Dulce" made with some shavings from the "tapa" and boiling water. You drink it just like tea. Depending on the part of the country, the recipe for "Agua Dulce" will vary.  Some make it with milk and some add lemon juice. Regardless of how it is served, it is always delicious.

I use "tapa de dulce" to make glazed carrots and once you try them, you'll never want to go back to brown sugar.

1 pound or ½ kilo of fresh carrots (zanahorias), peeled and sliced into ¾" to 1" pieces
½ cup of orange juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon (canela)
½ cup of shaved and packed "tapa de dulce" (Note: Tapa de Dulce is also called Panela and can be found in many Latino grocery stores. If you can't find it, substitute ¼ cup of well packed brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of molasses or maple sugar.
2 tablespoons of butter
Salt to taste

Add all the ingredients to a medium-size pot. Bring everything to a boil, then simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes. When the carrots are tender and the glaze is thick, they are ready to serve. Garnish with a little cilantro or parsley.

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