Why It Works
- Using masa harina para tortillas (finely ground masa) allows for the smoothest atole.
- You have control of the thickness and sweetness of the atole by adjusting the amount of water and sugar.
- Natural smooth peanut butter blended with milk makes for easy incorporation and the best roasted-peanut flavor.
Mexican atoles, hot drinks thickened with corn, can be flavored with just about anything. For me, champurrado, the chocolate version, was where it all started, and you can find additional information on history and technique here too. Orange atole is a fruit variation that’s also very good. Essentially, masa harina is whisked into warm water, then milk, salt, and other flavors are added to customize your atole experience.
It's hard to believe I could like any flavor more than chocolate, but man, peanut atole gives champurrado some serious competition. The method is exactly the same, but instead of adding the milk and then following with chocolate, I blend some peanut butter into the milk, then whisk them into the base together.
I suggest using a more "natural" type of peanut butter—you know, where the only ingredient is peanuts, no salt, sugar, or anything else added—for the best roasted-peanut flavor. Just avoid chunky versions, or you'll end up with scratchy little bits of peanut in the drink.
I add just enough dark brown sugar to lightly sweeten the drink. Then the process ends the same as the champurrado: simmering, thinning with water, and giving it a quick whisking or blending right before serving to froth it a little.
This stuff is heavenly.
1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup masa harina para tortillas
3 1/4 cups water, plus more as needed (see note)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Using a blender, combine peanut butter and milk and blend until thoroughly combined.
In a large saucepan, add masa and set over medium heat. Immediately add water in a slow, thin stream while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer and whisk in peanut-milk, brown sugar, and a generous pinch of salt.
Return to a simmer and lower heat to low, then simmer gently, whisking, for 3 minutes. Thin with additional water as needed to create a thick-yet-drinkable hot beverage (the exact consistency is a matter of personal taste, see note), reheating as necessary. Taste, adding more sugar or salt if desired. Froth with a whisk or immersion blender, ladle into mugs, and serve.
Exactly how much water and sugar you add will determine the final consistency and sweetness of the drink. This recipe produces a fairly thick, rich drink that is mildly sweet. You can add more water and sugar if you want a thinner, sweeter version.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 13g||16%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||14%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|