Have you read Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno?! If not, WHAT'S STOPPING YOU? Here's a link to buy it! You can always go to your library and request it too. Get on this! Don't Date Rosa Santos is charming, magical, filled with delicious Cuban food, takes place in sunny Florida, and is lovely. And funny! And blends the world of magic, food, and love together so seamlessly. Cover your eyes if this upsets you, but it's a far more enchanting, far less white version of Gilmore Girls. To me, Rosa is such a living, breathing character. Her commentary... her humor, ambition, her own grief and understanding, she's fully realized and I loved following her journey. I'm especially a sucker for generational family stories, and this book delivers. I'm so excited that there will be another book set in Port Coral.
Annnnnyway, onto the cookies. These aren't your typical cookies. For one, they're savory. WHHHHAT? That's right. Savory cookies. It's a riff on Cuban sandwiches minus some of the more this-doesn't-go-in-a-cookie elements. Fun fact: I lived in South Florida for 2 years and let's just say, I had my share and miss them sorely. Moving swiftly on, these cookies have two types of cheese in them, sliced ham from the deli and minced garlic. Now, I know the sandwich version has pork, mustard, pickles, sometimes salami... but these things just don't mesh with a cookie, you feel me? However, if you want, you could probably add a dash of mustard powder if you have some on hand. I didn't. But I imagine it'd be a great addition.
RECAP: These are not Cuban sandwiches. They are cookies, because I love cookies. They're like cheese puffs, only not. You will probably like them if you like Cuban sandwiches. Or if you like cheese and ham together. Okay? Here's how to make them!
Don't Date Rosa Santos Booky Cookies:
1 cup water
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 -1 1/4 cups grated cheese (your choice, I'm keen on Swiss and cheddar)
1/2 cup sliced strips of ham or salami OR both
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated or minced garlic
How to make them:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Bring water, butter and salt to simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add flour once butter is melted, and stir rapidly with the wooden spoon until dough ball forms, and pulls away from the sides. Cook for 1 minute longer.
Remove pan from heat and cool for 2 minutes.
Using a mixer, beat in eggs 1 at a time.
Stir in cheese, ham, garlic, and pepper.
Drop rounded Tablespoons of the dough onto the sheet pans, spacing them 3 inches apart. This is easier done with a small cookie scoop. For real, invest in one.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Serve warm and Enjoy!