There are two things that we Dominicans love after a good lunch: a cafecito and a dulcito (a little coffee, and a little sweet). Yeah, we are just as fond of diminutives.
Full dessert is OK, but it’s not exactly our custom. A few bites and a cup of our insanely sweet coffee just does the thing to please our national sweet tooth (teeth?). Mantecaditos (Butter Cookies) — notice the diminutive there again? — are the perfect accompaniment to the post-lunch coffee, and perfect prelude for a — diminutive alert! —siestesita.
We’ve posted the recipe to a more complex version of butter cookies: Christmas Butter Cookies. But this is not it.
Mantecaditos are much more simple, cheaper and easier to make, and very much a part of our traditional dessert repertoire. The “easier to make” part is what I like the most about it.
- Butter for greasing the tray
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 stick of butter (3/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
Pre-heat oven to 400 ºF [200 ºC]. Grease a baking tray (or use a silpat).
Mix the remaining ingredients in a food processor, pulse until the mix forms rice-sized granules.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Form balls with the dough, about an inch in diameter. Press down to flatten a bit (see picture).
Bake until light golden (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature on a wire tray.
Traditional Mantecadito recipe calls for vanilla, but you can try other flavors too. I particularly like rum (non-alcoholic) or almond flavoring. Feel free to experiment.