These delicious Portuguese cookies are incredibly simple and easy to make. They are the perfect everyday dessert or snack made with just three ingredients plus spices. Ideal for your afternoon coffee or tea.
What kind of cookies are these
The word “areias” translates from Portuguese to “sand” and is a very good description of these cookies. They are crumbly and covered with sugar. At the same time they almost melt in your mouth. Areias are definitely a kind of cookie that is worth trying given its nice specific texture and the simplicity of preparation.
Where is this recipe from
Originally these cookies come from Cascais which is a town close to Lisbon. There are several different variations of the recipe but all of them consist of three ingredients: butter, sugar and all purpose flour. I liked very much the Areias presented by La Dolce Rita (video link), as she also added cinnamon to the coating sugar, which in my view goes very well with the lemon flavour of the dough.
Tips and variations
- The ingredients for this recipe are simple: you need one part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour. Usually Areias are flavoured with lemon.
- Some of the recipes don’t follow strictly the 1 : 2 : 3 proportions of the ingredients. There are also differences in the consistency of the butter: some recipes call for cold butter, others for very soft. In my view all these variations mean one thing: Areias are easy to make, no matter of the mixing technique and will not get spoiled by a small ingredient variation. There is not much that can go wrong with this recipe.
I hope you will like these delicious Areias! Let us know in the comments what you think. If you made them, tag @tacoandtiramisu in Instagram! We would love to see your creations.
For the dough:
- 1/2 cup / 100 g sugar
- 7/8 cups/ 200 g butter soft
- 2 1/2 cups/ 300 g all purpose flour
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup/ 50 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- In a large mixing bowl combine butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy.
- Little by little add the flour and start mixing with a wooden spoon or by hand. Make a soft dough.
- Take walnut size pieces out of the dough and roll them into balls. Arrange the balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake until the cookies start becoming golden at the edges but are still white on the top. It is ok if they seem too soft, as long as the bottoms are baked.
- While the cookies are baking, mix well the coating sugar with the cinnamon.
- Remove the cookies from the oven. Let cool for just 2-3 minutes before rolling them through the cinnamon sugar. They have to be hot so that the sugar sticks.
- Let the cookies cool until room temperature. Keep them in airtight containers for 1-2 weeks.
- Instead of lemon zest you can use 1 teasp lemon extract.
- The cinnamon is optional but is a very nice addition. You can skip it, however, if you prefer.
- Source: La Dolce Rita -Youtube Channel