The classic mantecadito cookie from Puerto Rico was brought to this Caribbean island by the Spanish. The name comes from the Spanish word manteca that means butter or shortening. This cookie resembles the polvoron, that crumbly Spanish Christmas cookie made with almond flour and covered in icing sugar. The mantecadito cookie from Puerto Rico is also traditionally baked around Christmas, but you make the dough without almond flour. An indentation is made in the middle of the cookie to make room for some jam. In Puerto Rico that is often a tropical jam made from guava or pineapple. But you can also fill this cookie with a tasty jam of strawberries or raspberries. Leave these buttery biscuits to cool in the refrigerator after you have formed them. That will help them keep their shape during baking..
Mantecadito cookie from Puerto Rico
for ± 24 cookies
120 g (1 stick ± 1 tsp) butter*
25 g (2 tbsp) sugar
½ egg, lightly beaten*
grated zest of ¼ organic lemon*
¼ tsp cinnamon
250 g (2 cups) flour
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp jam
With an electric mixer beat the butter with the sugar until light and creamy.
Add the egg and beat well.
Add the lemon zest and the cinnamon and beat until incorporated.
Mix in almost all the flour and the salt and form into a smooth ball of dough. Add some extra flour until you have a soft but not sticky dough.
Form ± 24 balls of dough and press a hole in the middle of each ball with your thumb.
Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon a little bit of jam in the holes. Do not overfill or it will bubble out when they bake.
Cover the cookies with cling film and leave to cool in the fridge for ± 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Bake the cookies for 15-20 min. or until very light brown and done. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet. They will still be soft when hot but will become crumbly when they cool down.
* Instead of butter, you can also use vegan butter or margarine with a few drops of sesame oil. Use the grater of 1/2 lemon for some extra taste. You can omit the egg or replace it with 15 ml of aquafaba. At the end, add just as much extra aquafaba or water until the dough feels nice and soft.