Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Making Rosquitas - Little Ring Shaped Breads

Still working on my Guatemalan cookbook/memoir for my daughter, I am working diligently on recipes to make and photograph. I want as many of my own photos in the book as possible. Making all of them, for now, will not happen, but some are easier than others. Rosquitas are one of the easier recipes. The only reason I never looked at them as a recipe possibility is because I was never terribly fond of them. Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with them. Everyone has their own taste, and I am sure these little bread / cookies must have a strong niche in the market to still be popular. 
Baked Rosquitas

What are Rosquitas, you may ask?

Rosquitas are little Guatemalan ring shaped bread / cookies that fall under the header of "sweet breads", or "panes de manteca". These fall in with some, like champurradas, hojaldras and other harder type "breads" that are actually verging on being a cookie. The only difference is that cookies are usually sweeter, and these breads, while made with sugar in the recipe, are generally not too sweet.
Rosquita dough, fringed or not, ready to bake

The rosquitas are shaped into little rings, and sometimes are left smoothly ring shaped, and sometimes they are given a little notched "fringe" either on only one side or sometimes around the whole bread. Once baked, these little bread / cookies are tender but crisp. The hardness level is nearly to a teething biscuit, which is what they always reminded me of. Being less sweet, on their own they are less inviting to eat. Dip them into hot coffee or hot chocolate however, and you have a much better result.

If you are interested in a cookie that is not too sweet, this is the way to go. The shape makes them interesting. See what you think:


makes 32 little ring-shaped cookies

3 cups (14 ounces) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sugar
4 egg yolks
3 ounces milk (6 tablespoons)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Add the yolks and beat until well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and cut in with fingers or a pastry cutter, until crumbly. Add in 2 ounces of the milk (4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup) and mix lightly and quickly as for pie dough. If the dough will not yet come together, begin adding the remaining milk, one tablespoon at a time. Add the extra milk only if needed to make a stiff cookie-like dough.

Making fringe on Rosquita dough
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough into 32 small pieces of equal size. Roll each piece into a log about 6 1/2 to 7-inches long, equal thickness along its length. Bring the two ends together and pinch slightly to make a ring. At this point they may be placed on an ungreased baking sheet to bake, or you might make the little fringed edge, using either a small, sharp knife or small scissors to make many small snips halfway into the thickness of the ring along one side of the ring, or around the entire perimeter if desired. Set the shapes on an ungreased baking sheet and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. 

When all is said and done, I find that I really like these little cookie / breads now. Possibly because I am not being tempted by 15 other varieties of Pan Dulce all at once? Possibly. Still, I truly am enjoying these cookies now, with a nice cup of coffee, mmmm.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.