Cinnamon Horchata Cookies
Horchata is a refreshing, delicious non-dairy beverage with many versions found around the world from Mexico to Spain to Nigeria. As far back as 2400 BC, the Moors brought a drink called kuunu aya which was a tiger nut milk to Spain. The Spanish continued making the drink and called it horchata de chufa. In El Salvador and Honduras, they make semilla de jicaro using the licorice flavored seeds from the calabash squash. In Ecuador, horchata lojan is more of a red herbal tea made from flowers whereas in Guatemala, horchata is typically made with rice, cinnamon and vanilla. Appreciated for its cooling qualities, horchata has been used to lower fevers and offered to fussy babies.
More recently, horchata made its way to the US and became a popular flavor for ice cream, cocktails, etc. You can find horchata for sale in some taquerias and Mexican restaurants. Horchata is made by soaking rice overnight, adding cinnamon, sugar and sometimes a little vanilla. The whole thing is whirred through the blender then strained. The result is a sweet creamy drink that reminds many of rice pudding.
As the season of baking is upon us, we thought we would share a recipe for Cinnamon Horchata Cookies with you. While there isn’t actually horchata in the ingredient list, some brown rice flour and warm notes of cinnamon and cardamom make for a delicious treat. Some may say it’s like a Mexican snickerdoodle, we think it’s like a tender shortbread cookie.