Spaniards eat lots of cookies, especially around Christmas time. There are pastas de té (tea cookies), polvorones (dusties), roscos de vino, and alfajores just to name a few. They may be flavored with lemon, cinnamon, or coconut. The crumbly texture of many of these cookies depends on lard, though some of them are butter based, and the anise and sesame flavored tortas de aceite actually have an olive oil base.
Recently I found a recipe in La Cocina de Mamá: The Great Home Cooking of Spain by Penelope Casas for perrunillas--a sort of cookie I'd never heard of--spiced with cinnamon and lemon zest.
As an experiment, I replaced the lard in this recipe with coconut oil. I had read that coconut oil can give an incredible texture to cookies, and we're really pleased with the crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth quality of these. The original recipe called for lemon zest and cinnamon, and I included both here, but the taste of these cookies is mainly of coconut. The result is very similar to the Spanish cookie called mantecado de coco.
8 ounces of virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teasoon of grated lemon zest
1 egg, separated
2 cups of all purpose flour
Stir the coconut oil and sugar with a fork until well blended. Add the cinnamon, lemon zest, the egg yolk, and the flour. Roll out the dough on floured surface to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut the cookies with a two-inch cutter. (I used the rim of a small wine glass).
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Arrange the cookies on it, giving them some space. Brush with beaten egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake them for 13-15 minutes in a 425 degree oven. These cookies also come out fantastic (and with even better texture) when baked in a kamado/Big Green Egg.
You could serve these with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. They're really good with the spiced dessert wine hipocrás too. Just click "Wine and Other Drinks" on the sidebar for the recipe.