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Entry from January 16, 2008
Cuernos (Mexican horn-shaped pastries)

Cuernos are Mexican horn-shaped pastries that are sold in Mexican bakeries (panaderias) all throughout Texas and in many supermarkets as well. Cuernos have been compared to French “croissants,” but cuernos are often topped with sugar or filled with cheese.  “Cuernos” have been cited in print in San Antonio newspapers since at least the early 1970s.


Food Down Under
Bakeries Give a Sweet Taste of Latin America by John G. Watson
(...)
The cuerno (KWEAR-noh), or horn, is another pastry showing a French influence. It’s shaped like a croissant, but the similarities stop there. It’s a pleasantly sweet faux croissant with a cake-like texture. 

Borderlands - El Paso Community College
Tempting Sweet Breads : Pan de Dulce
By Lynn Cordova, Inez Caldwell, Victor Canchola and Florence Brame comps.
(...)
Cuernos (horns) a sweet crescent-shaped bread flavored with cinnamon, is a traditional bread for All Saints Day, November 1. The crispy cooked ends represent the horns of a bull, which symbolically prod the sinner. The custom associated with it requires the blessing of a smaller version of the bread by the priest to atone for venial sin. The recipient then carries the little rolls in a pocket or purse for good luck or a special blessing.

Mi Tierra Restaurant & Bakery (San Antonio, TX)
Cuernos de Azucar
“sugar horns” A sugar-topped croissant

18 April 1952, Park Forest Star (Chicago, IL), pg. 2, col. 2:
Mexican bakeries (In Los Angeles—ed.) aren’t as numerous as delicatessens like Pedro’s, but it’s a real experience to go into one. Even if your Spanish is strictly of the book variety you can usually find someone to tell you what the names of the various pastries mean. “Pan dulce,” which means “sweet bread,” are what the bakeries specialize in since tortilla factories make what Mexicans use for bread.

Going up to the shelves where the pan dulce is placed in trays is like going up to the penny candy case in an old-fashioned store. To choose from are “pan de huevo” or egg bread, “Elotitos” or cobs of corn, “cuernos” or horns, “abrazos” or hugs, “besos” or kisses. Untranslatable items are such things as “chamucos” and “campechanas.” There is also a delicate leaf pastry filled with custard which has various names, one of which is “pastelitos de hoja,” which translated liberally means “little pies of leaves.”

18 June 1972, San Antonio (TX) Express and News, “Mexican-Style Food Reflects S.A. Heritage” by Jane Terry, pg. 2H, col. 3:
Sweets range from the thin, crisp bunuelos sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon (and kept fresh by the addition of a drop of green tomato skin!), to fruits such as pineapple, to the delightful pan dulce (sweet breads) made from many different kinds of dough dictated by the shape of the pastry.

It’s fun to pick out varieties such as El Caracol, the snail, snail shape filled with jelly; La Pina, the pineapple, yellow-colored sugar paste with octagonal design; La Concha, the shell, egg bread with fan-shape design; Las Perlas, the pearls, topped with shiny loose sugar paste; Los Nudos, the knots, filled with a buttery paste and tied in knots; Los Cuernos, the horns, cinnamon flavor, sugar covered; Chilindrinas, the bright ones, round bread covered with shining sugar, and Semita de Anis, anise seed bun.

7 July 1977, San Antonio (TX) Light, “Pan Dulce: S.A. Has the Best” by Ed Castillo, pg. 3B, col. 3:
Others: “Florecita” (little flower); “piedra” (rock); “cuerno” (horn); “caracol” (snail); “concha” (shell); “perla” (pearl); “chilindrinas” (the bright ones), and “semita de anis” (anise bun). There are many others.

Google Books
A Guide to Ethnic Food in Los Angeles
by Linda Burum
New York, NY: HarperCollins
1992
Pg. 68:
Novios are an eggy yeast bread encased in a swirl of short pastry; cuernos are the same barely sweet egg dough in a crescent shape;...

Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: (Victor M. Martinez)
Date: 1999/01/11
Subject: Re: Looking for Basic Pan Dulce Recipe

Anyhow, there is no such thing as “basic pan dulce recipe”. There are dozens of different types of pan dulce in Mexico, some are available all over the country (conchas, cuernos, orejas, cocoles, semitas, etc.) and some other are regional specialties. They range from being basically pastries (orejas) to pretty much cakes. The only common denominator I can think of is that they’re all yeast breads and they are all sweet. Other than that, every recipe is different. Maybe if your friend is more specific.

Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: (CCA)
Date: 1999/01/13
Subject: Puros

The recipes are from Barbara Hansen’s Mexican Cookery.  She describes pan dulce in the following way:  “...the imaginative array of sweet rolls, loaves, cakes and cookies known collectively as pan dulce or sweet bread.  Each whimsically fashioned sweet bread has its own name.” The three recipes that she includes in this category are: peineta, cuernos, and puros.

MySA.com
A glossary of popular pan dulce (June 9, 1999)
Hector Saldana San Antonio Express-News
Food Page 1F (356 Words)

Campechana - flaky, layered pastry with sugary glaze
Empanada - fruit-filled turnover, usually with pumpkin filling
Marranito - little brown piglet-shaped molasses cookie
Pan de huevo - slightly sweet, dense yeast-dough bread flavored with vanilla and stick cinnamon. Often called conchas for its shell pattern
Cuernito - sugary, cinnamon horn of pan de huevo
Piedra - cookie made from day-old bread with pink icing
Oreja de wey - rolled French pastry shaped…

Google Books
Travelers’ Tales:
San Francisco
by James O’Reilly, Larry Habegger, et al.
San Francisco, CA: Travelers’ Tales
2002
Pg. 54:
For a quarter a pop, try a novia, shaped like a wedding dress, or the croissants that Mexicans more aptly call cuernos, or horns.

Houston (TX) Chronicle
5 April 2002, Houston (TX) Chronicle, “El Bolillo Panaderia offers sweet selection” by Dai Huynh, Dining Guide, pg. 14:\
Cuernos de queso: These horn-shaped yeasty croissants (called “horns of cheese") are stuffed with a butter-rich cream cheese.

26 December 2003, New York (NY) Times, “36 Hours Oakland, Calif.” by Brenda Payton, pg. F5:
At Penas Bakery, (3355 Foothill Boulevard, 510-536-0661), pick up a 75-cent cup of coffee and choose from the rows of fresh and flaky, sugar-coated Mexican pastries with names like cuerno, bigote and oreja, at just 50 cents apiece.

Google Books
Cooking with Texas Highways
by Nola McKey
Austin, TX: University of Texas Press
2005
Pg. 5 (Name That Pan Dulce!):
cuernito ("little horn"): There are two types—a larger, soft-textured bread that’s usually dipped in coffee as it’s eaten, and a smaller, hard bread that’s sugar-coated. 

Dallas (TX) Morning News
A user’s guide to pan dulce
It’s all good — but it doesn’t hurt to know your cuerno from your concha
February 11, 2005
By BARBARA RODRIGUEZ / Special Contributor
(...)
Cuernos: The Mexican take on the French creme “horns.”

May 2005, Texas Monthly, “Happy Trails: Art, History, and Cooking 101—when it comes to a lesson in Hispanic culture, San Antonio gets an A+” by Katherine Sands:
After getting our fill of window-shopping, Katie and I were ready for a literal taste of Mexico. We wandered into Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia and were taken aback by the huge pinatas, festive twinkle lights, strolling mariachis, and most of all, the huge line. At four o’clock in the afternoon it was standing room only as people jostled to pick their favorite panes dulces (sweet breads) from the bakery case. I grabbed number 48, Katie took number 49, and we drooled over the endless assortment of empanadas, campechanas, and cuernos. When our numbers were finally called I settled on a campechana de guava, some sweet potato bread, and an apple cuerno. Katie selected an empanada de calabaza, dulce de coco, and a pineapple cuerno. We immediately found an empty table and proceeded to consume an obscene amount of sugar.

Roadfood - Mexican Bakeries
lennonlover 2005
Posted - 02/23/2007 :  03:25:31

Semitas (they look like oval cookies)
Semitas de Anis (Black Licorice) (ditto)
Cuernos (this means “Horns” so they are sugered horns)
Mexican Wedding Cookies - Powdered Sugar
Bolillos (not sure what they look like)
Campechanas -They look like empanadas but they are sweet) Empanadas (see other posts) But I will say empanadas vary from each Latin American country!!
Marranitos (the outside has little points and they’re filled I believe)
Molletes (sugary and yellow and have crisscrosses on them and they look like seashells a bit)
Piedras (sugary and yellow)
Pastel de Polvo ( S shaped and white and sugary)
Polvorones Roscas (look like sugar pretzels)
Huavaches (they look like crackers, oval shaped)

These are considered MEXICAN bakeries items. There are Guatemalan bakeries I have been to in Chicago and they have similar looking items but with different names , so you should know what to look for in shape etc.

Each Latin American country have their own special pastries so just try one that looks good...This applies to empanadas as well. They vary alot from country to country

Mexico Cooks!
May 05, 2007
Sweet Staff of Life: Mexico’s Pan Dulce
(...)
Tasty sugar-swirled conchas are ubiquitous throughout Mexico.
(...)
Pan dulce is just one variety, but there are hundreds upon hundreds of different sub-varieties. The great mosaic of Mexican bread making, inventiveness, and creativity is such that every variety of pan dulce has a name, usually associated with its appearance. That’s why you’ll see names of animals, objects, and even people gracing the breads on bakery shelves. Puerquitos (little pigs), moños o corbatas (bowties or neckties), ojo de buey (ox eye), canastas (baskets), conchas (seashells), cuernos (horns), chinos (Chinese), polvorones (shortbread), hojaldres (puff paste), empanadas (turnovers), and espejos (mirrors): all are names of specific and very different sweet breads. My current favorite name for a pan dulce is niño envuelto (it means wrapped-up baby and it looks for all the world like a slice of jellyroll).

Near Northsider- Houston
Pan Dulce at breakfast on Sunday Morning
Sunday, May 6th, 2007
We woke up early today and I got some pan at the Houston Bakery. I got the usual empanadas, cuernos, and pan de huevo (conchas).

Brentwood (CA) Fun Times Guide
Mexican Panaderias and Pan Dulce
Written by Meredith on December 30, 2007
(...)
Here’s what we sampled and how we liked it:
Tres leches cake (3 milk) is a sweet, moist cake with a milky texture.
Bolillos are like a French baguette, only smaller, with an oval shape and softer crust.
Conchas are breads shaped like seashells and coated with sugary icing.
Orejas are flaky ear-shaped pastries much like Elephant Ears.
Cuernos were my favorite. Like a big, fluffy croissant dusted with a sugar crust.
Empanadas are soft, smooth pockets of dough with cream cheese or fruit fillings.
Churros were long sticks of chewy pastry well coated in cinnamon.
Marranitos are dense gingerbread cookies shaped like pigs. Cute!

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, January 16, 2008 • Permalink