Its X´mas time ! Just a few days more and it will be the time for bonding, family renunion, prayer, good meals, etc etc. In Spain the spanish have many typical xmas goodies which they serve after their xmas meals. Turron (spanish nougat made out of almonds and honey) , dry fruit, different kinds of sweets and cookies. One such cookie is the “mantecado” literally translated from the word manteca which means lard…they are sweet crumbly melt in the mouth cookies made with white flour and lard and flavored with cinnamon. Now ofcourse you get them with different flavourings. Its fun to eat them coz they are very crumbly. They come wrapped individually in fancy paper and when you bite into them they just crumble apart and its soo much fun to eat. We usually hold the paper just under us as we take a bite to catch the crumbs…or you can put the whole thing into your mouth!
Well while on facebook i came across a recipe on how to make this delicacy with olive oil! I was amazed because i actually avoided eating them because of their lard content. I decided to change the flavoring to a desi one for my “spanindian” creations. The result was amazing… and i then proceed to play with the flavours and baked several batches!! This is another flop proof recipe and very easy to make. Makes about 12-15 cookies
250 grams of white flour (maida)
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of salt
100 grams of sugar, powdered ( i used my amazing bullet)
125 ml of extra virgen pure spanish olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds (aniseeds, saunf)
6 strands of Nitu Didi pure spanish saffron
Heat the oven to 150. Put the white flour into a baking tray and spread it out. Put it to roast in the oven for 15 minutes. This is to remove the excess moisture content from the flour and thus giving the mantecado its dry crumbly texture. Make sure that the flour does not brown. You wil see that it will not be smooth and in fact get a little dense. Cool completely and when cooled put into a bowl. Add the saffron strands, baking powder, cardamom powder and fennel seeds and the tiny pinch of salt. Mix well and now make a dough with the extra virgen olive oil by pouring it slowly. Gather the flour together using the olive oil to bind it and make into a dough. Knead well for about five minutes. You will notice the overpowering olive oil aroma but dont worry. Once your lovely dough is smooth make into small balls and flatten. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof /butter paper( i used a silicon one) and bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes till pale golden. Cool and then proceed to try one…. If you eat more than one dont worry…its with olive oil and thats good for you!!!!
NITU DIDI TIP:
If you want the original mantecado flavour, omit the cardamom, saffron and fennel and use 1 levelled teaspoon of cinnamon powder and a few drops of lemon juice.
To buy Nitu Didi pure spanish saffron do contact me
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OLIVE OIL