Sweet crumbly Spanish sugar cookies drenched in powdered sugar bring back so many happy memories of holidays in Menorca. Pastissets de Menorca are traditionally made to resemble a flower shape and are similar to shortbread but drenched in powdered sugar to add extra sweetness.
These crumbly, melt in your mouth cookies are a delicacy in Menorca and bring back so many happy vacation memories. I love that they are also naturally dairy free and really easy to make.
Why I Made This Recipe
The Balearic island of Menorca holds such a special place in my heart. We enjoyed many wonderful vacations in Menorca before moving to Canada and a few years ago we finally took our children there on a family holiday. Picture the scene. We are sat by the pool, just a stone’s throw away from perfect blue seas and enjoying these delicious melt-in-your-mouth powdered sugar cookies from a local bakery. Life doesn’t get much better than that! A bite of these and it just transports me back to those days of sun, sand and sangria.
This is Moll Pastisseria which we stumbled upon in Cuitadella in Menorca. Very simple pastries which are exactly what you want when you are wandering around the town on a hot sunny day.
Why You Need to Make These
With just 6 ingredients, these are simple sugar cookies that are packed with citrus flavour and extremely easy to make. If you love shortbread, you will love this Spanish twist that will have you reaching for more.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This is a traditional Menorcan recipe that is naturally dairy free. In keeping with the original recipe, and to retain the exact flavour and consistency, there are no vegan substitutions. For some common questions about this recipe, check out my FAQ section.
Flour: this recipe uses all purpose flour which helps to give the crumbly texture. I have not tried this with gluten free flour. If you do experiment with them, let me know how they turn out in the comments below.
Egg Yolk: the egg yolk acts as the binding agent in this recipe and also adds to the consistency. As the egg yolk is such a fundamental part of the recipe, and its taste and texture, I have not experimented with a vegan alternative.
Lard: pastissets are traditionally made with pork lard which gives them their moreish texture. Feel free to substitute with shortening or unsalted butter if you prefer.
Sugar: white sugar adds the sweetness and delicate crumb.
Lemon Zest: the addition of lemon zest really elevates these sugar cookies. You can leave it out if you don’t want a citrusy flavour although I highly recommend including it.
Icing Sugar: for dusting the cookies once they have cooled.
How to Make Pastissets de Menorca
Preheat oven to 350F ( 180C / Gas Mark 4) and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Gather all ingredients and ensure that the eggs are at room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, combine 3 egg yolks and 200 grams of white sugar until it resembles a soupy consistency. Add 400 grams of all purpose flour, 200 grams of lard and the zest of 1 lemon and combine until it forms a dough.
Roll between 2 pieces of parchment paper to approx 7mm depth. I like to use free paint stirrers from the hardware store to maintain the same thickness in my cookie dough. You can read more about this method in my detailed sugar cookie post.
Traditional pastissets are flower shaped so I like to cut them using a small petal cutter. You can also use different shapes depending on what you have on hand. Just bear in mind that the number of cookies that this recipe makes will depend on the cutter you use. If you look carefully, you can see the little flecks of lemon zest peeking out.
Place on parchment paper and bake at 350F ( 180C / Gas Mark 4) for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven once the cookies are just starting to brown on the edges. This recipe does not spread but you do need to ensure that you leave a suitable gap between each cookie for airflow.
Allow to cool then dust generously with icing sugar. Here’s some cute heart shaped ones that I recently made. They are perfect for Valentine’s Day or even just as a treat for someone special.
And let’s see how gorgeous that crumbly texture is. These truly are melt in your mouth and I challenge you to try eating only one at a time. They are seriously addictive!
This recipe makes roughly 24 cookies, depending on the cookie cutter size that you use. My cookie cutter is roughly 2 inches in size.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Absolutely! If you don’t want to bake the entire recipe, wrap any remaining dough in plastic wrap then freeze in an airtight container. Defrost fully at room temperature before unwrapping then roll, cut and bake as per the recipe.
I have not experimented with a gluten free flour substitute in this recipe. However, based on my tests with other cookie recipes, I recommend trying Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 GF Flour in place of the all purpose flour.
One Last Pastisset Close Up
I mean, look how cute these are! Let me know what you think of them in the comments below. They are so easy to make and I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.
Pastissets de Menorca are best served on a hot summer’s day with a glass of my traditional lemonade.
Why not try out some other sugar cookie recipes:
- Make the perfect summer cookies with my small batch strawberry lemonade cookies
- Perfect for any party, my funfetti sugar cookies
- Get back to basics with my no spread, no chill traditional vanilla sugar cookies
- And don’t forget my Top 15 Cookie Decorating Tips
Pastissets de Menorca
- 3 Egg Yolk
- 200 g White Sugar
- 400 g All Purpose Flour
- 200 g Lard
- Lemon Zest (from 1 large lemon)
- Icing Sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F ( 180C / Gas Mark 4) and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Gather all ingredients and ensure that the eggs are at room temperature.
To Make Pastissets
- In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolk and sugar until it resembles a soupy consistency.
- Add the flour, lard and lemon zest and combine until it forms a dough.
- Roll between 2 pieces of parchment paper to approx 7mm depth (see recipe post for my handy tip). Cut out the cookies with a cookie cutter.
- Place on parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven once the cookies start to brown on the edges.
- Allow to cool then dust generously with icing sugar.
- This recipe yields roughly 24 2-inch-sized flower shaped cookies. The number of cookies will depend on the size of cookie cutter that you use.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- If you do not wish to bake the whole batch in one go, wrap with plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight container. Thaw to room temperature before unwrapping then roll, cut and bake as per the recipe.
- Delicious served with my freshly squeezed traditional lemonade.
- In keeping with the European method of baking, I have not converted this recipe to US cup measurements. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to accurately weigh your ingredients to guarantee perfect results every time.
- Nutritional information is based on 1 pastisset with 24 pastissets per recipe. Nutrition information is calculated based on the ingredients in this recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.