So I was looking for a new recipe to bake on my day off and asked one of my friends for an awesome recipe.  I could have spent forever scouring through ideas, but his first suggestion sounded perfect: Mantecaditos!  I had never heard of these before (I lack knowledge in delicious Puerto Rican cuisine) and since my favorite recipes are new ones, I grabbed some almond extract and got to work.

I found a recipe to base mine on and decided to make my trademark adjustment and add in some brown sugar.  Almond extract was new to me so I was stoked to give it a shot, and this is my first cookie recipe using shortening.  I swapped it for butter in my Sugar Cookies recipe but had to find out what kind of a difference it makes. I nixed the guava paste topping and per my friend's suggestion went with sprinkles instead.

Step one was creaming together butter, vegetable shortening and the white and brown sugars together in my stand mixing bowl until they were well blended.

I added in the almond extract an 1 egg yolk next, then gradually poured in the flour to create a chunky dough.

Using my cookie scoop, I measured out the dough and used my hands to roll them into a ball shape before squishing them slightly and setting them up on a parchment lined baking sheet.  I topped them off with some cute little fall sprinkles, just in time before the Christmas themed baking begins!

They were ready after baking for just under 25 minutes and ended up just tad brown around the edges.

Oh yes, now these are good cookies! They turned into a shortbread type cookie that was sweet without taking it too far.  Of course I shared some with my friend, how else can I judge a recipe to which I have no comparison?  I got a good review, and a few other friends that tasted them gave positive feedback as well.  They reminded me a bit of a Greek cookie called Kourabiedes I've enjoyed many times before that are covered in powdered sugar.  I'm very happy I gave these a try; I love baking!

Mantecaditos Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups flour

Beat butter, shortening, and sugars together until creamy. Add in almond extract and egg yolk and mix until well combined. Gradually pour in flour and mix until dough is chunky but combined. Scoop into balls about 1 1/2 inch in size and flatten slightly with fingers. Top with sprinkles and bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned.

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