Mantecaditos {Puerto Rican Shortbread Cookies}

I recently participated in a cookie swap with more than 600 bakers from around the country.  We were asked to bake 3 dozen of our favorite holiday cookie, and send them to 3 different people.  It was so exciting, both to send out my cookies, and to wait for my cookies to arrive!

Thinking about my favorite holiday cookie was pretty easy.  There are two cookies I absolutely must make during the Christmas season every year: chocolate crinkles and mantecaditos.  I figured you’re all pretty familiar with crinkles, so I chose our Puerto Rican version of a shortbread cookie to share with all of you, and my fellow cookie swap bakers.

These shortbread cookies are nice and buttery, and have a slight hint of almond behind every bite.  My family always makes them with maraschino cherries, which make them look so festive and perfect for Christmas!

I hope you enjoy these, and let the season of holiday baking begin!


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shortening, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 cups flour
  • 24 maraschino cherries, halved
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line cookies sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, on medium speed, beat the sugar, butter and shortening until light and fluffy, for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the egg yolks, and beat until combined.
  • Add in the almond and vanilla extracts, and beat until combined.
  • Slowly add in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix on low speed until the batter is thick.
  • Using a measuring tablespoon, roll out balls of dough and place them on the lined cookie sheets.
  • Using the palm of your hand, flatten each dough ball slightly, and make an indent in the center of the cookie with your thumb.
  • Place a halved maraschino cherry in each thumbprint.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until the cookies are slightly golden, about 20 minutes.
  • Cool slightly, and enjoy!
Makes 4 dozen cookies.  Original La Casa de Sweets family recipe.

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