The Baker’s Passport – Cuba

by Jeanne


Cuba is high on my list of "just once."  Most likely because its off limits to Americans. I can imagine myself out late meeting a suave dark Cuban and learning to rumba while sipping on a mojito, Cuba libre or daiquiri cocktail.  We’d roll on into the morning and have a typically Cuban breakfast of tostado and a cafe cubano.

Cuban bakeries are famous for their finger foods, such as pastelitos, croquetas, bocaditos, and empanadasPastelitos are somewhat like American turnover–a warm flaky exterior wrapped around a filling of either meat, cheese, coconut, guava, or a combination of guava and cream cheese. Bocaditos are small bite size sandwiches layered with a ham spread.  A popular dessert called capuchino.  These small cone-shaped cakes start out are baked until hard and then are soaked overnight in a syrup made from sugar, water, lemon and orange rinds, plus cinnamon and that very sweet liqueur, anis.  The name refers to the shape of the hoods worn by Capuchin monks.

Another local treat that pairs well with a cafe con leche are these cookies from, Moron, in the province of Camaguey. The town is widely known for these cookies. Many bakers who fled Castro’s oppression in the early 60’s brought their recipe for the cookie to the mainland.  Today the lime sugar cookies can be found in Cuban bakeries in "Little Cuba" in Miami. Sometimes they can found all dainty, sprinkled with sugar or all tarted up with colorful sprinkles.Torticas de Moron

Cuban Sugar Cookies

Adapted from a recipe from the Cocina Cubana Club

1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp lime juice
1-1/2 tsp grated lime rind

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix shortening and sugar together.

Slowly add flour, a small bit at a time incorporating well each time.  Watch the dough as you don’t want it stiff but not dry.

Add the grated lime juice and rind. When thoroughly mixed, roll the dough into a Roll the dough into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter. Slice the cookies about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and chill for 30-60 minutes.

Place on cookie sheet covered with wax or parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.