Sunday, 15 January 2012

Her Results - Mantecados

At the MBA program where I work, around 15% of our Full-Time MBA students some from countries outside the USA. When I brought my montecados to work, I asked a student from Spain if he’d try one and let me know if it tasted authentic. He said the texture was right, but he was curious where the almonds were. Good question!

I looked up montecados on Wikipedia and got confirmation that nuts are often a key ingredient. My co-baker is a nut-hater (which is clearly insane), but I’m not sure whether or not He intentionally chose a recipe that omitted nuts. Wikipedia told me lots of other interesting tidbits including that Mexican Wedding Cookies, which are popular both in the USA and south of our border, are a regional variation of these cookies. To be honest I never would have made the connection, but it makes sense…

Our nut-free montecados were interesting and tasty. I’ve never had a cookie so soft and powdery before. The sensation of these cookies in my mouth reminded me of the sound you sometimes hear when you walk through fresh snow – a pretty, muffled sound of soft compaction. That was just one aspect of these cookies that was unique and enjoyable. Additionally, the flavor was distinctive. Notes of cinnamon, lemon and licorice (I used Sambuca as anisette) intertwined into a subtle, perfume that I would have never have been able to break down into its component parts had I not known which ingredients we used. Several of my colleagues commented similarly, and everyone seemed to enjoy the cookies. I don’t think they’re for everyone, but they’re cool to try if you have an open mind.

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