Nicaraguan rosquillas

Nicaraguan rosquillas

Nicaraguan rosquillas recipe

Step into just about any panadería in Nicaragua and you’re hit with the sweet smells of baked goodies. Cabinets and shelves loaded with golden edibles – some you may recognise, some you may not.

From the ubiquitous alfajor, plump bollo dulce filled with thick custard or chocolate, and nestled in amongst the dozens of other treats – a tray or bags of rosquillas.

Nicaraguan rosquillas recipe

Rosquillas come in a couple of forms; a simple loop or a flat disc topped with a burnished rubble of panela; an unrefined cane sugar. If you’re really lucky you just may come across one shaped into a flower, like the ones I’ve made here.

These cookies fit right into the shortbread category, thanks to their crumbly and granular texture. The difference is that it isn’t wheat flour or regular cornflour/corn starch that’s used to give it substance.

White jaggery

Instead, the main ingredient is masa, which is basically finely ground hominy; the same stuff that goes into corn tortillas. It’s this that gives the rosquilla its unique flavour and grainy texture; along with the earthy molasses flavour the loaf sugar brings.

Rosquillas Nicaraguenses

The best way – or should I say the proper Nicaraguan way – to eat these is to float them in your cup of coffee for about 20 or 30 seconds. Preferably coffee from one of the nearby plantations, should you so happen to have one down the road from your place.

If only we all had that kind of luxury.

Recipe adapted from here

Nicaraguan rosquillas recipe

 

Print Recipe
Nicaraguan rosquillas
Shortbread cookies made using corn masa? These crumbly little Nicaraguan rosquillas are seriously addictive!
Nicaraguan rosquillas recipe
Course Dessert
Cuisine Nicaraguan
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Nicaraguan
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Nicaraguan rosquillas recipe
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter and caster sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the milk and vanilla, then stir in the masa harina and salt until a dough forms. It may seem a little wet, but keep stirring or just let it sit for a few minutes so the masa harina has time to absorb the moisture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Divide the dough into 20 pieces, or use a heaped tablespoon to portion it up. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and arrange them onto the lined baking tray, leaving an inch between them.
  5. Take a glass or something with a flat bottom and press it gently on each ball of dough, flattening them to 1 centimetre thickness. Don't worry if they crack and split on the sides. Use your finger and press an indent in the centre of each flattened round of dough, then press more indents around the perimeter to form 'petals.'
  6. Drop a small amount of chopped brown sugar onto the centre of each cookie, then bake them for 20-25 minutes, or until golden on the edges.
  7. Cool completely on the tray before storing in a sealed container.
Recipe Notes

Masa harina may seem to have a fine texture, but it's still a little coarse for rosquillas. What I did was use my spice grinder to make it even finer, almost like regular wheat flour.

Brown loaf sugar is basically a solid block of unrefined cane sugar that's grated or chopped when needed. I used white jaggery for mine.

Share this Recipe
  • It’s so nice to live in a place where masa harina and piloncillo (brown sugar cones) are a silly found in local grocery stores. I like your tip for grinding the masa finer. I look forward to trying these soon!

    • I hope you enjoy them, David. Not quite traditional shortbread and I’m sure they’re even nice with your hot cocoa.

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    I would have never guessed that masa was the “flour” component of these. They really are so pretty John.

  • KevinIsCooking

    These look so delicate and I would find myself eating one right after the next so don’t leave a plate in front of me!
    It’s been forever since I had some time to look at my friend’s blogs and I’ve missed yours. So happy my afternoon turned out that I had spare time. I try to stay up to date with social postings, but it’s good to stop by the site now and again, right? Glad you boys made it back home safely. That was quite the holiday – thanks again for sharing it with all of us. Cheers!

    • My pleasure, Kevin! The trip may be over now, but the posts are still being written. So much work to do!

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