Mantecaditos con Guayaba ( Shortbread Almond Cookies with Guava)

Mantecaditos con Guayaba

The holiday season is around the corner and it is time for a holiday cookie.  I adore these cookies.  My mother use to make them all the time for my sister and I.  She would usually fill the dimple with strawberry jelly, which would melt and become chewy.  It was my favorite part because it would stick to my teeth.  Don’t ask me why….it just was.     You can fill them with whatever you want.  I have seen them plain or topped with sprinkles.  I have seen them fill them with coconut, chocolate, any fruit preserve or caramel, the possibilities are endless.

The name “mantecadito” comes from the ingrediant “manteca” which translates to shortening.  The cookie is basically a shortbread cookie that is made with half butter and half shortening or all shortening.  I like the 1/2 and 1/2 recipe because I just love butter.   I filled these cookies with guava paste, which becomes soft in the oven and not chewy.  So you don’t have to worry about anything sticking to your teeth.  I am trying to keep you out of trouble with your dentist. :D

It is a very popular cookie during the holidays in PR.  You can find them in some stores, in cute little packages tied with ribbons.  They make a great gift!

I love…love…love these cookies and probably ate 8 of them last night.  Don’t tell anyone….I am a little ashamed. 

First cream together butter, shortening & sugar until it is nice and fluffy.


Beat in 1 egg yolk and


a teaspoon of pure almond extract.


Then mix in 2 1/4 cups of flour a little at a time until combined and dough looks chunky.


Using a cookie scoop, scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a ball.  Place ball on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon mat.  Press each ball with your thumb creating a dimple in the center of each cookie.

Mantecaditos Thumb

Dice guava paste into small cubes about 1/2 inch in size, till you have about 1/2 a cup.

Mantecaditos Guava Paste

Fill each cookie dimple with about 1 teaspoon of guava paste.  If you have any guava paste left over… it!

Mantecaditos 1

Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden.  Transfer to cookie sheet and let cool completely.


 Shhhhhhh! Shhhhhhh!  Listen……do you hear that?  It is the sound of angels singing over this delicious buttery crisp cookie.  Hmmmm

Seriously do you hear them?  I’m not crazy!  Don’t make fun….the voices keep me company.

Mantecaditos con Guayaba

Look at this cookie!  It is plump, golden, crumbly, buttery and delicious.  Why wouldn’t angels sing?

Macaditos 550

I declare! Go now and make these cookies, get yourself a glass of milk and eat 15 of them.   They are just heavenly.  I suggest you make a double batch so you can hide in a corner and eat them all by yourself, because they go fast.   Just be sure to discard the evidence…ie, buttery crumbs on your shirt and floor. 


Print Recipe

Mantecaditos con Guayaba ( Shortbread Almond Cookies with Guava)

about 18 cookies

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup guava paste, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream sugar, shortening and butter in a large bowl. Mix in egg yolk and almond extract.  Blend in the flour a little at a time, until well combined and chunky. Shape a tablespoon of dough into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the cookies on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Using your thumb press the down on the cookie.  Fill the dimple with about 1 tsp of guava paste.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until light golden brown.  Tranfer to cooling rack.


  1. Krystal says

    I made these cookies last weekend and they came out AMAZING!! Thank you so much for this recipe I’ve been looking for it everywhere and I finally found the perfect one :D

  2. Marila says

    Estos mantecaditos los coozco de que era una nin~a. Como tradicio’n familiar siempre los hacemos para Navidad. A mis hermanos y a mi nos fascinan. Ayer termine de hornear unos 200 mantecaditos, y casualmente hoy me tropece’ con esta receta. Mi hermana me comento esta tarde que ella tambie’n horneo’ mantecaditos para llevar a una actividad, pero que ella y el esposo se los comieron todos y no llegaron a su destino. En casa les tengo mas para cuando vengan para Navidad.

  3. says

    These were fantastic, and very easy. I actually converted the recipe to gluten-free and dairy-free and it still worked perfectly – a sign of a good recipe! I may use this again for jelly thumbprints, but the guava really gives it something special. And if you eat them while the guava is still warm? OMG.

    For a GFCF version: I used 280 grams of a blend of GF flours (50/50 whole grains & starches), and 3/4 tsp of gums (psyllium/xanthan). For the fats, I used a mix of Smart Balance, palm shortening and Tbsp or two of mashed sweet potato to make up for the extra moisture in butter (banana or applesauce would work, or omit) for a total of 207g . They were very crumbly – may use a little more xanthan gum next time – but so, so good.

  4. Angie says

    Yo las hice hoy, pero como no tenia guayaba para ponerle en el centro, le puse nutella, Mmm….. Quedaron riquisimas, y en especial con el toque de nutella! :)

  5. Zaida says

    Tu no crees que le debes dar credito en esta receta a Carmen Valdejuli, Cocina Criolla? Muchas de nosotras aprendimos a hacer mantecaditos con esta receta que es de ella…

    Translation provided by The Noshery

    “Don’t you think you should give Carmen Valdejuli, Cocina Criolla credit for this recipe? Many of us learned how to make mantecaditos with this recipe which is hers.”

    • says

      I usually do not enter into discussion in the comment section of my blog, but I will make an acceptation in this case.

      First let me say that this recipe was given to me by my mother. Also if you read the recipe you will see that I use an egg yolk and guava. Also the recipe is written in my own words. I did however look the recipe up and see that it is very close to Valldejuli. But it was not my source, if it had been my source I would have said so. Mantecaditos are a very common and traditional cookie like a vanilla cupcake or sugar cookie would be so recipes will be very similar. If you are a reader of my blog you will know that I always give credit to recipes when I use them and even when adapted.

      • Eni says

        I agree with Meseidy here. It never even occurred to me that the Mantecaditos recipe was on the Valdejuli book, and had to look to corroborate.

        I have my own recipe, given to me by my aunt and it is a little different than both, Valdejuli and Meseidy. For the holidays, instead of shaping the dough into a ball, I put the dough in a cookie presser, and do different shapes according to the season, put them in a bag and give them away. They are a very welcomed gift especially around Christmas.

  6. mandy says

    made these cookies this afternoon for our Live Nativity Community event at church this evening. They were a huge hit…my husband loved them too. Will definitely be making then again. I found the guava paste did not melt down to good and so the first batch or two didn’t come out too pretty looking…so I rolled and squished the paste into a ball and that batch came out of the oven looking much prettier. I did dust the cookies with powdered sugar once cooled.

  7. vanessa barahona says

    I been baking since I was a little girl and the only thing I can say is that these mantecaditos are the best I ever had. Bring my childhood and the memories from my grandma…

  8. Dawn Watson says

    I lived in PR in high school, and we brought back this recipe as one of our favorites. We make them with a piece of maraschino cherry on top. Thanks for reminding me how good these are!

    • says

      It is pretty common to find in the Latin section of your local grocery. It is also easy to find online. If you don’t find guava don’t worry. My mother use to fill them with jam a piece of milk caramel would also be yummy.

    • carol says

      My sister makes these cookies, she also adds sprinkles to them….she”s been baking them since she was in her teens. My youngest son is such a fan of the cookies, that I tried to make them myself. Honestly I have to say that I leave the baking to the expert and my sister can send them via mail to my son….The recipe is great….I might just try it.

  9. Taini says

    Te felicito es la receta perfecta, llevo meses buscando esta receta,,,, todas distintas y todas me quedaron fatal!! Muchas gracias, quedo espectacular !

  10. Tony says

    I am hallucinating also just reading the recipe.
    Wonderful childhood memories. I’m baking them right now

  11. says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I am native New Mexican and where I come from “Manteca”=Lard. We have a state cookie called “Biscochitos” that of course every NM cook worth her salt will tell you cannot be made properly without the ever coveted lard. When I read your recipe and saw that you used a mixture of butter and shortening I was thrilled. I am going to make your recipe and then try your technique on New Mexico’s favorite cookie. I live in Japan now (talk about a fish out of water) and can’t find lard (which is a blessing in disguise… I need to waddle away from my lard liking roots). Again, thank you for sharing this recipe with us. :)

    • Michelle S. says

      Fellow New Mexican here. What a shame you can’t find lard in Japan. I can tell you that not only is lard much healthier for you than shortening, it adds a more delicate texture and even a subtle flavor to baked goods that cannot be replicated. I have had shortening biscochitos, and they just don’t have that authentic flavor. I always get a chuckle when people are horrified at the thought of putting lard in cookies or pastries but think nothing at all of adding shortening – which is one of the worst things you can put in your body because of the high levels of trans fats. Not to mention it’s equally fattening to lard.

  12. says

    Se me hace la boca agua… con lo que me gustan! Ahora tendre que ir a hornear unos cuantos mantecaditos (yo le llamo polvorones). Thanks for sharing this recipe!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *