15 Delicious Spanish Cookies That You Must Try!
When thinking of the classics of Spanish food culture, typically spectacular dishes such as Paella Valenciana or cakes such as the famous Torta de Santiago come to mind.
What is less well-known is that the Spanish also enjoy cookies. Distinctive regional specialties from recipes that date back centuries are loved just as much as more modern creations. What they all have in common is that they’re fun to make, and even more fun to enjoy with friends over a cup of café con leche, some tea, or even a glass of chilled milk.
We’ve chosen 15 of the best and most famous Spanish cookies. They’re not in any particular order as we can’t agree on which we love most!
These yummy traditional Spanish Christmas treats originated from the region of Castilla-La Mancha and are typical treat in the regional capital of Toledo.
They’re small, soft, and moist little cakes with a distinctive almond flavor. Egg yolks, fresh lemon juice and zest, sugar, cornstarch, and, of course, ground almonds are all that’s needed to create these wonderful little treats. Traditionally, they were square in shape, but if you don’t have square molds, no-one will complain if you use round ones!
These sweets are really easy to prepare and make a perfect companion for coffee, perhaps after a family lunch as they’re quite light.
2. Mostachones de Utrera
Mustachos de Utrera are another traditional Spanish cookie, this time from the deep south and a small town not far from Sevilla.
These light sponge biscuits typically combine eggs, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Their lightness comes from whisking the egg whites with sugar, before adding the yolks, and folding in a mixture of flour and cinnamon.
The final mixture is shaped into mustaches on a greased baking sheet before being baked until they’re crispy and golden on the outside, but soft and moist on the inside.
They are often enjoyed by being dipped into vino dulce, a sweet dessert wine.
These famous Spanish sugar-dusted cookies originally hailed from Valencia. They’re made by combining flour, lard, butter, sugar, egg yolks, flour, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Some versions of pastissets are made with olive oil or anisette, which naturally add a distinctive flavor and are a better choice for vegetarians.
Liberally dusted with powdered sugar, pastissets are considered the perfect accompaniment to a refreshing cup of afternoon tea.
Alemandrados recipes date as far back as the 15th century or perhaps even earlier. It’s no surprise that these tempting cookies have endured for hundreds of years and are still widely enjoyed today, especially over the Christmas season.
Each bite provides a delectable combination of vanilla and almonds. The consistency is special; they are soft and chewy, almost like macaroons.
They’re not complicated to make. The key is to whisk the egg whites into stiff mounds to get that lovely soft consistency when baked. Once whisked, they’re mixed with the yolks, sugar, lemon zest, and ground almonds. Cinnamon can be added to fill your home with even more divine aromas while the alemandrados are baking.
They’re typically finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoyed with coffee, tea, or cold milk.
They’re a toothsome combination of flour, yeast eggs, sugar, and toasted almonds. Occasionally anise and lemon are included.
The traditional cookies are round and about 1 cm thick. As they’re typically baked twice they have quite a crisp texture.
Carquinyolis are often served as a dessert with a glass of sweet dessert wine.
Mantecados are sweet and dainty shortbread cookies that are quick and easy to prepare with only a few ingredients. Their origin is linked to the town of Estepa in Andalusia, which is locally known as the city of lard.
Traditionally, pork fat (i.e. lard) is used to make these cookies, but vegetable shortening is an acceptable substitute which still provıdes the correct crumbly texture. For some extra crunch, flaked almonds can be added to the recipe with no loss of authenticity.
In the past, mantecados were dried before being sold, to preserve them. This helped their popularity spread beyond southern Spain. These days, they’re not only enjoyed in the holidays but all year round.
7. Galletas con Chispas de Chocolate
Ok, chocolate chip cookies are found all around the world, but Spanish versions have their own distinctive twist, with the addition of nuts, raisins, and larger chocolate chips than are found in many other types.
They’re firm on the outside, meltingly soft inside, and often enjoyed with coffee or even a cup of rich Spanish chocolate.
While marzipan is found everywhere, mazapan cookies are a traditional Christmas delicacy closely associated with southern Spain. They were introduced into the country by 8th century Moorish invaders, so they have an incredible history.
Although they’re delicious they’re incredibly easy to make with only a few ingredients; just combine roasted peanuts and sugar. The recipe does vary by region. Melted chocolate is an optional extra which gives the scrumptious experience a meltingly creamy texture.
Delicious dulce de leche is the filling of choice for these wonderful shortbread sandwich cookies. Alfajores are lusciously sweet, and divinely yummy!
No eggs or raising agents are required to prepare them. They’re sometimes finished off by rolling in flaked coconut, and of course, you can be as creative as you like with the creamy filling.
Nevaditos are traditionally made to accompany Christmas and New Year’s Eve feasts. The texture resembles that of puff pastry, but the good news is they don’t need special kneading to prepare.
They couldn’t be easier to make. Finish them off with a thick coating of powdered sugar: the snow that gives them their name.
Sometimes they’re served with pieces of nougat because they’re not too sweet.
11. Tortas de Aceite
These distinctive olive oil crackers are delicate, crispy, made with olive oil, and dusted with granulated sugar. They’re typically flavored with orange blossom water or aniseed (or both).
Tortas de aceite pair very well with sliced or diced mature cheese such as Manchego or Gouda, but they can also be savored alone with a cup of tea or coffee. Or perhaps a glass of sherry on special occasions.
Polvorones are crumbly traditional cookies typical of Andalusia. The name is derived from the Spanish word polvo, which means powder, and describes their very crumbly and powdery texture which melts in the mouth.
They’re easy to make from simple ingredients: flour, almond flour, powdered sugar, lard (or butter). The basic mixture can be flavored with cinnamon, cocoa or lemon to give them a distinctive, complex flavor.
Borrachuelos are a type of cookie from Malaga.
First, the name. These thin cookies got the name borracho, meaning drunk in Spanish, because they are soaked in wine and anisette. Unlike most cookies, borrachuelos are fried rather than baked and then soaked in syrup or honey.
The dough is typically based on flour, muscatel wine, lemon or orange juice, anise or fennel seeds, and sunflower oil. Once fried until golden, it’s filled with a mixture of sweet potato or pumpkin and sealed before being smothered in sweet syrup and dusted with powdered sugar.
Neulas originated in Catalonia. The name comes from the Spanish word meaning fog, as they melt away as soon as they enter your mouth.
They’re thin cookies made with flour, sugar, egg whites, butter, and lemon juice. Delicate and light, they’re usually rolled into hollow tube shapes, to be enjoyed around Christmas with a glass of sparkling cava.
Ready to fill your kitchen with the delicious aromas of baking cinnamon, anise, and sugar?
These easy-to-make shortbread cookies don’t just fill your kitchen with irresistible smells as they bake, they also provide a unique sweetness with a light and crunchy texture which is delightful to bite into.
Although they originate from Spain, biscochitos are now also considered a specialty in New Mexico.
We hope you enjoyed the above list. It is only a glimpse into the fascinating world of traditional Spanish cookies. Whether you’re inspired to try some of the recipes or want to buy ready-made versions, just enjoy the myriad flavors and textures of these wonderful culinary delights.