Two days ago I received a request in comments for any type of Salvadoran “pan duro” to go with coffee. The first one that came to mind was salpores de arroz, which are a crunchy cookie-like pan dulce made with rice flour. Traditionally salpores come in a few different shapes and are sprinkled with pink or red-colored sugar.
Although these aren’t a Valentine’s Day cookie, they’d make a pretty sweet surprise for your valentine, especially if he or she happens to be Salvadoran.
Salpores de Arroz
3 cups rice flour
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 extra large eggs, slightly beaten
For topping: pink or red sugar
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
2. Add butter and knead by hand until combined.
3. Add eggs and knead by hand an additional 10 minutes. The dough will be very dry and crumbly. You must work the dough until it all comes together.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F.
5. Take a golf ball-sized amount of dough in your hands and shape it into a flat oval, then press three flat fingers into it to make indentations. Place the cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat for each cookie.
6. Sprinkle cookies with pink or red-colored sugar. Bake on middle rack of oven for 18 minutes until cookies are nicely browned on the bottoms.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Serve with coffee. Makes about 18 salpores de arroz.