How To Make Mantecaditos – A Puerto Rican Christmas Cookie + Dreaming Of Puerto Rico

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve had lots of downtime lately, having 3 surgeries since mid-October.  I’ve got resting and relaxation down!  I can tell I’m at the end of all this reconstruction because I am ready to get up and be out and about!  I’ve had time to lay around and dream, and lately I’ve been DREAMING OF PUERTO RICO!
I’ve been watching some amazing  videos about Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico Tourism recently partnered with popular Trip Advisor to transform real traveler 5-star reviews into stunning short films. These stunning short films are narrated by Puerto Rican stars, and has helped me   realize that Puerto Rico is filled with world-class attractions that will turn any trip into a 5-star vacation story!
Just watch the above video to see the beautiful El Yunque National Forest.  I just sat and stared wide-eyed at that waterfall.  This is the only rainforest under US national park service.
A few other reasons I’m dreaming of Puerto Rico:
~Flamenco Beach in Culebra, cited as one of the best beaches in the world.
~I want to glow like and angel in the water in the Bioluminescent bays.  
~I’d visit San Juan and enjoy its old world charm.
~The foodie in me would love to explore some of Puerto Rico’s delicacies.
Speaking of Puerto Rican food, since a trip there is not in the plans , at least until I heal more, I thought it would be fun to experience some authentic Puerto Rican food.
I explored the internet and found this recipe for Mantecaditos.  It is a Puerto Rican Christmas Cookie, a buttery, almond- flavored shortbread cookie, and we happened to have all of the ingredients to make it on hand.  My little 10 year old baker was ecstatic to try a cookie that is eaten on a beautiful island at Christmastime!  Magical!
Mantecaditos-A Puerto Rican Christmas Cookie
1/3 cup almonds (grounded in food processor)
1/2 cup (8 tbsp)  vegetable shortening (cold) *I used butter in place of shortening
1/4 pound salted butter (one stick, cold)
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1  1/2 tsp pure almond extract
Selection of  toppings: multicolor nonpareils, cinnamon sugar, colored sugar crystals, guava paste or maraschino cherries (halved). Also, you may dredge in super fine sugar (10×10) while still hot to make a sugar coating.
1.  Preheat oven 350ºF.
2.  Place almonds in a food processor an pulse until finely ground.
3.  Add butter, vegetable shortening, sugar, pure almond extract and flour to finely chopped almonds in food processor and pulse until all ingredients are incorporated.  Finish kneading mixture by hand in a bowl.
4.  Measure a scant tablespoon and start making tiny balls with your hands (about the size of cherry tomatoes) and place in baking pan about 1 inch apart (I use a 12×17 inch jelly roll pan).
5.  Once you have finished making the balls,  make a “dent” in the middle of each ball gently (like thumbprint cookies, just that I don’t use my thumb I use my middle finger, but use whatever finger makes you happy.) Use your other hand to hold the dough so that you don’t make too many cracks in the sides while pressing down.
6.  Fill “dent” with nonpareils or the topping you wish to use.
.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350º F.  Remove from oven and leave in the pan for about 15 minutes to cool down.  Store in air tight container.
These are DELICIOUS! 
Puerto Rico is also knows for their Rums.  Of course I had to find a fun Puerto Rico rum drink recipe, and I found a Puerto Rican Eggnog recipe.  It is called Coquito.  I can’t imagine drinking this on a tropical island, but I’m gonna close my eyes while I sip and sure try!  It sounds like a delicious, cozy & warming drink.
Coquito-Puerto Rican Eggnog
2 cups coconut milk
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups Puerto Rican Rum
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
Ground cinnamon & sticks , to garnish
Blend milks, rum, and yolks in a blender until frothy; chill. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve with cinnamon sticks.
One last reason that I would love to visit Puerto Rico is that there is no need for Passports or foreign money!  We would just hop on a plane and go.  Yes, please.
If this sounds good to you and you would like to Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico.live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico make sure you enter this contest where you can win a trip for two that includes:
~3-night stay (in one room)
~Food Credit
(Total prize value up to $2,000 dollars!)
How to Enter:
1. Leave a comment on the blog post about your favorite amenities in Puerto Rico-find your favorite here: PuertoRico.com
**Examples: Flamenco Beach, San Juan, etc!
For additional entries
@. Tweet out a message about what you would like to do in Puerto Rico with a link back to the participating blog post and the hashtag #5StarPR.  Make sure to leave your tweet URL in the comment sections of the participating blog’s post.
3. “Like” seePuertoRico.com on Facebook  Leave a comment on the blog post stating you Liked them on Facebook.

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  • Christine
    September 4, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Glad I stumbled across you. I lived in Puerto Rico growing up, it’s everything you said & more. Ponce is on the other side of the Island from San Juan it is a MUST SEE. I hope one day you can visit & see why we love our Island.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      September 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      So fun to hear from someone who has been there. I would love to visit someday.

  • michele
    December 10, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Don’t forget your mosquito repellant!!! All that beautiful green is because it rains every day and is so humid and full of mosquito.

  • Heather R
    December 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    and I liked them on facebook as lucki grrl!

  • Heather R
    December 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I tweeted here! https://twitter.com/HeatherAhhhh/status/418065896607723521

  • Heather R
    December 31, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    oh I’d very much like to visit the bioluminescent bays, and take a trip to the el yunque rainforest!

  • Lora
    December 29, 2013 at 1:54 am

    I liked SeePuertoRico.com on FB.

  • Lora
    December 29, 2013 at 1:53 am

    I would love to go to El Yunque Rainforest park, relax at La Monserrate Beach Park and enjoy the wonderful food in Old San Juan.

  • tiarastantrums
    December 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    liked on FB

  • tiarastantrums
    December 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I want to see beaches! Living in the midwest it is so cold here – I want some sun and sand!

  • Steve
    December 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Have visited Culebra and spent 3 days there…it is beautiful and the people are so welcoming…it has a “small-town” feel where you can just hang out at the local bar/restaurant and chat with new friends. Flamenco beach is beautiful and had my first snorkeling “lesson” with a couple of guys from Maine who I met on the island and invited me along. I loved the other beaches as well and they were completely deserted when I visited them. So serene.

    Don’t know if you knew this, but the “coquito” is named for a small tree frog found only on the Island (the coquí)…It is recognizable for its shrill call: co-KEE, co-KEE…you can hear them especially on a rainy afternoon and evening.

    This was a great trip down memory lane and I’ll have to try the recipes as well…the eggnog sounds delightful.

  • Quiana
    December 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Liked See Puerto Rico on Facebook!

  • Quiana
    December 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I was married in Puerto Rico and coming up on my 5th anniversary in June. We’re looking to return with some of our guests for a reunion trip! I look forward to visiting Old San Juan and the brightly colored buildings. I have quite the sweet tooth and love getting mallorcas at La Bombonera (I see now on Yelp that sadly they’ve closed).

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