Cuban Sugar Cookies
A heavy dose of Spanish flavors and ingredients infused with French, African, Caribbean, and even a dash of Chinese--Cuban cooking combines tastes from around the world.
While many Cuban dishes share cooking techniques and even ingredient lists similar to these other cultures, there’s always a distinct, original flair to the recipes. Take mac’ and cheese - the Cuban versions I’ve been playing around with include red peppers and shrimp along with a dose of sourness from capers and pimiento-stuffed green olives. And then there are the tortillas. They’re made entirely of eggs, completely different than the corn and flour versions found in Mexico.
To give your kids a taste of Cuban flavor tucked into a cookie, try this recipe tweaked from Raquel Rabade Roque’s The Cuban Kitchen. She calls these “Africana Cookies” and notes that they’re a popular treat available in stores all over South Florida.
Cuban Sugar Cookies Recipe
Prep time: 30 minutes + baking
Yield: 2 ½ dozen
2 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 sticks butter, room temperature (16 tablespoons)
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ tsps. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. lime and/or orange zest (opt.)
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
Cream together the butter and sugar using a hand-held mixer.
In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, soda, zest (if using) and flour.
Add the eggs and extracts to the butter mixture then stir in the flour until thoroughly combined.
Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment. Scoop the dough out in 1-inch balls, 2 inches apart (they’ll spread when cooked).
Bake the cookies, checking them after 5 minutes. Remove from the oven when the edges begin to get just browned (about 8 minutes).
Let the cookies sit on the pan at least 3 minutes or until they’re set.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on high power for about 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
Dip the cookies into the melted chocolate or use a spoon to smooth it onto one side.
For an extra lime zing, I dipped the cookies into lime zest too.
Allow the dipped cookies to cool until the chocolate sets--about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Kristen J. Gough is the Global Cuisines & Kids Editor for Wandering Educators. She shares her family's adventurous food experiences--and recipes--at MyKidsEatSquid.com.
Courtesy and copyright Kristen J. Gough