Oh, gracious, yum.
These are from El Salvador and are either a very sweet scone or a dry crumbly cookie. A perfect light treat with a cup of coffee, tea, cocoa, or milk. Rob declares they taste like a sweet snickerdoodle; I think it's more like a crispy sugar cookie. The cinnamon is subtle but provides a nice holiday flavor. The rice flour makes it light and a bit crispy.
Salpores is basically "Scone" and de arroz means "of rice". These should be safe for any gluten avoiders and if we sub out the milk for almond milk they're also dairy free. If you're so inclined you can pretend these are a breakfast treat.
I was pretty intimidated by this, but figured the worst case was a bunch of wasted ingredients so I jumped in. With a double recipe. I'm nothing if not committed.
I ground the cinnamon sticks in my coffee grinder. I'm sure a small food processor would have worked, too, or just using ground cinnamon. A web search didn't give a solid answer to how much ground cinnamon would replace the stick, especially since the stick will give a slightly stronger flavor, in theory. Based on my results, a 2" stick would yield about 1/2 teaspoon of powder, so maybe go 3/4 teaspoon of pre-ground cinnamon.
The dough mixes up easily and reminds me of a pie crust in its crumbly but ball-able consistency.
My dough balls are about golf-ball sized and my double batch has yielded nearly 50, so apparently I'm making them smaller than directed. I'm happy with the smallish size, though. When smooshed they're about 2.5-3" diameter and 1/2 thick.
They don't spread much so feel free to pack them close together. I put 15 to a cookie sheet.
(Below is a single batch recipe; it doubles fine but use a very large bowl!)
Salpores de Arroz
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
3 1/3 cups rice flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening (we used Crisco)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
6 to 8 tablespoons lukewarm milk (we used almond milk)
Pink sugar, optional (I used red sugar from the cookie decor area)
Preheat oven to 350. Grind cinnamon stick in spice grinder until it's a fine powder. Set aside.
Place rice flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add cinnamon, sugar, shortening, salt, baking powder, baking soda and eggs. Stir to mix. (I resorted to a pastry mixer for awhile and then back to a spoon and finally by hand.)
Slowly add enough milk to make soft dough that will come together in ball, resembling pie crust. It is easiest to get the texture right if you mix with your hands. Just squish it every now and then and when it sticks together in a ball you're set.
Form dough into balls. Place on wax paper-lined baking sheets. Press each down with 2 fingers, laid flat to make 2 ridges in dough. Sprinkle with colored sugar. (A google image search showed the bakery versions as being rectangular and lovely; mine are round and wobbly. If you care.)
Bake at 350 degrees until the tops feel dry, about 18 to 20 minutes. The recipe said "dark brown" but I pulled at a light toasted color. I found it worked well to remove them around 18-19 minutes but let them sit on the hot cookie sheet for another 4-5 minutes before removing them from the tray, so the bottoms got just a touch crispier and then they'd cool a bit for easier transfer.