Chocolate-Dipped Mantecados (Peanut Butter Cookies)

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Peanut butter cookies or Mantecados as they are locally known are such a treat to enjoy as they tend to mostly be made around certain times of the year, usually christmas or easter.

As it was the start of lent this week I got in the easter mood a little (ok very) early and decided I wanted to treat myself with some crunchy mantecados. Mantecados are usually made with just lard or lard and peanut butter, simply enjoyed as they are with a cup of tea or coffee on a chilled out afternoon.

However, i’m usually one for sticking to the traditional for certain things, but when it comes to food, although i do love my traditional meals with their classic recipes and the point of Mama Lotties is to have them so we can treasure them and not lose that, occasionally I do like to experiment with the classics and give them a little twist. It may not always work but the fun is in the unknown and the process.

Thankfully, I’ve had a great reaction from those that tried them, as quickly as I displayed them they disappeared from sight.

Mantecados are very simple to make, as most of the ingredients are dry and it only consists of mixing and moulding that mixture into shape. The trick however is to not have the mixture too runny.

I find that each brand of peanut butter is slightly different in consistency, so when making the mixture, if you see that it looks a little oily or wet don’t be afraid to slowly add in more flour, bit by bit. The consistency of the mixture should be thin and silky to the touch and easily mouldable.

At this point you want to make sure your hands are clean, grab a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball in the palm of your hand, then squish it down slightly and continue doing so, placing them on a baking tray with greaseproof paper. I was able to make a batch of around 42 cookies.

Place everything in the oven at between 160 and 180C for fan ovens and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. You will see the mixture take shape and begin to crack. Once ready, remove from the oven and make sure you leave them to one side to cool off for a couple of minutes before touching them as the biscuits will be very soft and EXTREMELY hot.

Now comes the fun part. Set aside a few of the biscuits and melt some dark chocolate.  With the chocolate hot and melted, dip in half of the biscuit and place it on a greaseproof paper. Do this to several and place them in the fridge, so that the chocolate cools and hardens. This only needs about 5 minutes.

If you’re not one for mess then look away now, don’t try this as it could get messy if you have no patience. Otherwise, this can be fun and if prepared properly, clean.

Lay out the biscuits on a board and using a small spoon drizzle and drip the chocolate over the cookies whilst moving your hand across, so as to create thin lines. Don’t stop or start half way or you’ll end up with a few scattered blobs of chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 220G Lard
  • 220G Caster Sugar
  • 340G Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 450G Plain Flour
  • 1 large bar of Dark Chocolate

Method

1, Mix together lard and sugar in a bowl and blend together until smooth, continue by adding the flour and mixing all three ingredients together.

2, Next add the peanut butter and fold everything over together. The mixture should be soft but not runny. it should have a silky texture. If you find that it is too wet slowly add a flour bit by bit.

3, Mould the ingredients into small balls and flatten slightly in the palm of your hand. Lay these out on a baking tray and place in the oven for 20 minutes at 160 – 180C in a fan oven.

4, After this time, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes as they will be extrememly hot! Meanwhile chop up the dark chocolate and melt. I find the quickest way to melt the chocolate is in the microwave for a minute or so, stirring every 30 seconds so that it doesn’t burn. However, if you prefer you may use the baine marie method.

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