Cookie season has begun! Today is National Cookie Day and I want to celebrate with these very festive and very flavorful cherry shortbread cookies also known as mantecaditos de cereza. Mantecaditos are some of the easiest cookies to prepare and some of the most delicious and indulgent treats for the holidays.
I prepared these with my 6 year old niece and we had a great time. Her job was to imprint her little thumb in each one of those cookies and decorate with a strategically placed cherry on top. To make these cookies just a little more scrumptious, we topped them with a thin milk and sugar glaze. It gave it the perfect sweet touch.
Mantecaditos can last a few days at room temperature and can easily be packaged to become a very popular edible gift. They are also great as a pot luck and bake sale contribution.
Celebrate not only today, but every day with these tasty cookies. The recipe requires only a few ingredients and the prep time is short and sweet. Happy National Cookie Day!
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, removed from refrigerator for about 20 minutes (colder than room temp)
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 44 maraschino cherries
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Carnation Evaporated Fat Free Milk
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine granulated sugar, butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl. Mix for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add egg yolk and almond extract; continue to mix at low speed. Add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until mixture is well combined and consistency is chunky.
- Scoop out 1 tablespoon dough, roll into a ball and place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Press into each ball with your thumb, making an indentation. Dough will crack slightly. Place a cherry in each cookie indentation.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are golden. Tops will hardly brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Whisk together powdered sugar and evaporated milk in a medium bowl until completely smooth and at drizzle consistency. Drizzle over cookies; let set for 30 minutes before serving.
Instead of cherries, decorate with colorful nonpareils, guava paste or fruit preserves.
Recipe developed for Nestle’s El Mejor Nido.