A Spanish coworker brought a bunch of lemony almondy shortbread cookies back
after spending Christmas in her hometown. They were
called "mantecados," they were delicious,
and they left an amazing amount of crumbs everywhere.
I spent a while trying to find a recipe on the web.
None I found were similar - most were missing the lemon
and almond, and the one I tried had the proportions
all wrong, so instead of cookies I ended up with a swamp
on a cookie sheet. So, I backward-engineered a recipe
based on Scotch shortbread. Maria gave them a thumbs-up,
so I'll call them a success and pass the recipe
on to you.
- 1 cup of butter
at room temperature
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1/2 cup of blanched almonds
- zest from 1
Preheat the oven to 325. Chop the nuts as fine as you can,
but don't worry if you end up with a lot of nut gravel;
that'll add to the taste and texture of the cookies.
To get lemon zest, take a fine grater and grate an uncut lemon
- but only get the yellow part on the outside of the
peel, which has the flavor you want. Rubbing it lightly
as opposed to pressing the lemon down, and rotating
the lemon as you go, works best.
Cream the butter in a bowl. Sift the flour, sugar, and
salt together into the butter, then add almonds and zest.
Mix until the texture is sticky and cookie-dough-ish. Press the dough into a
9x9 pan lined with parchment paper and smooth it out.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until it browns lightly. Cut it
into squares while still warm and soft, and let it cool
and harden before eating.