Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Cookies 18: Besitos de Coco

besitos de cocoBesitos de Coco are a coconut-flavored cookie from Puerto Rico but they are popular throughout the Caribbean.

Christmas in the Caribbean gives the holiday a tropical flavor.

Here’s a besitos de coco recipe from Food.com you can try to help sweeten your celebrations!

Besitos de Coco


2 cups grated coconut (bagged will do)

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 cup water


Combine the coconut and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Add the brown sugar and stir. Cook on low heat until the sugar melts and the texture is thick and very sticky. Drop by tablespoons on a greased cookie sheet or on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or parchment. Let the cookies cool down.

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Cookies 9: Mantecaditos

mantecaditosDay 9’s cookie comes from Puerto Rico where mantecaditos reign supreme.

This almond sugar cookie is also (usually) loaded with a combination of butter and shortening.

Mantecaditos bakers will typically imprint their thumb in the dough before baking and load the indentation with strawberry jam or another fruity flavor. But others choose to dust their cookie with rainbow sprinkles or holiday-hued sugar.

Whatever your preference, this cookie is sure to please.

This mantecaditos recipe is from McCormick.com.




2 1/4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Almond Extract

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

5 maraschino cherries, each cut into 8 pieces



1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside.


2. Beat butter, shortening, sugar and extracts in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in flour mixture until well mixed. Dough should be slightly moist. If dough looks dry, sprinkle with water and work into dough. If dough is sticky, sprinkle with additional flour.


3. Spoon dough by teaspoons and shape into balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Gently flatten each ball with palm of hand. Press a cherry piece in the center of each cookie.


4. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.



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Vamos Comer a Puerto Rico

Fort in Old San Juan

This summer I took my son to visit Puerto Rico.  It was my first experience in a Spanish-language culture and even though it’s technically the United States, it’s got a different vibe.  

I broke my son out of the resort we were staying in on our third day on the island and took him to visit two of the castles/forts that can be found in San Juan.  

We also walked around “viejo” San Juan and looked for what I called “street food” but that just alarmed my son who thought that meant we would be eating in the middle of the busy roads.  

We did enjoy a nice meal out that included plantains, one of my favorite foods as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa.  It’s always interesting to find these little food connections across cultures.

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