Mantecadas (pronounced /mahn-tay-kah-das/). They are sort of pastries. I don’t know how to explain. They look like cookies but their interior is more like a puff pastry. What makes them different then? Something that some of you might find a bit bizarre: LARD.
3 ingredients make this magic combination: flour, lard and eggs. Also, a (really small) bit of sugar and some help from baking powder.
When you mix all the ingredientes, I must confess it smells weird, but it all disappears when it’s baked. Flavor is not strong at all, it is actually very soft, I could even say delicate with the sugar cover texture. I just love them.
As usual, they bring some memories. When I was young we used to spend really boring school breaks in a family cottage house my family has. My parents loved it (still do) and one thing my father has always liked is to explore pastry shops and try new things. So one day he brought these mantecadas. For some reason, this Easter I thought of them, and I wanted to bake them so badly.
Some of my Spanish expat friends here were as excited as I was to try them again. They are so authentic! I am happy when I get to unveil old moments from others with food.
So, Dad, next time I go to Madrid (soon!!) I will bring some mantecadas to you. Specially for you.
Mantecadas (around 30 units)
200 gr / 1 cup lard
375 gr / 3 cups
3 tbsp of sugar
1 / 2 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of baking powder
More sugar to coat cookies
0. Preheat the oven at 300ºF / 150ºC
1. Mix flour and baking powder.
2. In the middle of the flour mixture, add the eggs, tbsp of sugar, lemon juice and lard. Mix them altogether. I did it with my hands but the paddle attachment of a kitchen aid will do fine too ;-)
3. When it comes out a soft dough (a bit dry and greasy), make a ball and leave for 15 minutes into the fridge.
4. Take the dough out of the fridge and knead with a rolling pin until it’s 1 cm / 0.40 inches thickness.
5. With a cookie mold, cut as many mantecadas as you can.
6. Bake them for 25 minutes. They should NOT be golden, white is the best so they keep their texture.
7. Right after they are baked, coat them with sugar (you can use a spatula’s help, they are not that hot) and leave them cool down on rack.
8. Eat, eat, eaaaat!