While recently in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico I fell in love with "Cuca" (or "Cucas" if plural… according to locals), which are VERY hard, about ¼” thick… or thin, lightly browned with darker brown around the edges, 6" or so in diameter round cookies, found, as far as I know, only in Old San Juan. They are often sold by candy vendors who set up booths along the streets during weekends and festivals, and I could find them nowhere else in all of Old San Juan. These vendors make what they sell themselves, including the cookies, which they sell in a stack of about 8 cookies in clear unmarked plastic bags closed with a twist tie. I finally located a similar cookie at the San Juan Airport just before departing. The similar type of bag they were in, although this time printed, said “Cuca de Jengibre” (ginger) and contained slightly thicker browner cookies flavored with ginger instead of cinnamon, but they were close. It seems I may be seeking “Cuca de Canila (cinnamon)? The ginger flavored airport cookies were overpowering. The original cinnamon-ish cookies were delicious despite the lack of an overwhelmingly defined flavor.
I have searched and searched for the recipe, as have many others it appears. I did post another recipe search on here for the same cookie, which contains more specifics about them, to which many kind folks replied. By piecing together all that I have found out from them, and through other sites online, particularly the replies to the searching of others for the same cookie, as well as the list of ingredients on the bag of cookies I found at the airport, I think I have enough information to make my first attempt at recreation. One of the replies to my last post asked that I create a new post and keep everyone informed, although being new here I'm not sure where to post… so here I am. If there is somewhere I should write down my recipe tries and hopefully the correct attempt, and at the same time be able to receive feedback, please let me know where that would be.
Side Note- I was a chef long ago but have never been a great baker. Being unsure, At All, of the science of baking I would appreciate any advice anyone can provide.
Feb. 7, 2013 7:54 pm
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