Hojarascas (cinnamon Shortbread Cookies) are made with flour, sugar, ground cinnamon, and shortening or lard. Soft, crumbly and delish!
For the Cookie Dough:
2 cups all purpose flour (240 grams)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
½ tablespoon of ground ceylon cinnamon (stick ground in blender and sifted)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening or lard
5 tablespoons of cinnamon water
1 cup of water
½ (2 inches) Mexican (ceylon) cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons ground ceylon cinnamon (stick ground in blender and sifted)
¾ cup granulated sugar
To a blender or coffee grinder, add 2 cinnamon sticks and blend until they are finely ground. Sift the cinnamon through a mesh sifter to catch the bigger pieces. We will only need to use the finer part of the sifted cinnamon that falls through the sifter. Set aside.
In a small pot boil 1 cup water and ½ a stick of Mexican (ceylon) cinnamon. Boil for about 5 minutes and let rest. Set aside.
To a bowl add 2 cups of flour, ½ tablespoon of ground cinnamon, 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar, ¼ teaspoon of salt and mix to combine.
Next add the 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening or lard to the flour and using your hands bring it all together to form a crumbly dough.
Once that comes together, add 5 tablespoons of the cinnamon water, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. You should end up with a soft dough that isn’t crumbly or falling apart or so wet it doesn’t form a ball. Add more cinnamon water if needed.
Lightly sprinkle flour on a flat surface and place the dough on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick.
Using cookie cutter shapes of your choice, preferably 2 inches in diameter, cut out as many cookies as you can.
Re-roll the scraps from the leftover dough and repeat the rolling and cutting process.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet about ½ inch to 1 inch apart from each other.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake for approximately 12 minutes. They will look under done and a bit pale, but if left in the oven too long they become dry.
While they bake, combine about 2 teaspoons of the ground cinnamon with 1 cup of granulated white sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
Remove the cookies from the oven and then while still warm, cover them with the cinnamon sugar making sure to be careful, if the cookie feels soft wait a minute for it to cool a bit and then coat.
After being coated and cooled they are ready to serve!
For the cinnamon you will need to grind a stick of Ceylon Cinnamon into as fine of a powder as you can. It will still have some larger pieces in there after grinding/blending but if you sift it the finer pieces should strain through the sifter.
If you want them less cinnamon-y omit the cinnamon in the dough. The outside cinnamon sugar coating should be just the right amount of cinnamon flavor without overdoing it.
Yes, Hojarascas are originally made with lard, but sometimes if you just have vegetable shortening on hand, that will do just fine!
You can use powdered cinnamon as a substitute, it will taste different but still very good!