Horchata Cookies with Queso Fresco

Horchata Cookies with Queso Fresco Recipe

If you've been keeping up on my recipes this week, you know that I've been making use of the wonderful cheeses from Queso Del Valle. I thought a dessert would be a nice way to end the week. Lulu and I had lunch at the appropriately named "Lulu's" Mexican restaurant last Sunday, and we both enjoyed a nice cup of horchata (cinnamon-flavored rice drink). I thought it would be fun to capture the rice and cinnamon flavors of the drink in an edible form.

I made cookies with queso fresco and incorporated sweetened condensed milk, horchata, almonds, rice flour and cinnamon. I didn't stop there and topped the moist cookies with cinnamon and crema Mexicana sour cream icing. 

These horchata cookies turned out great and I might whip another fusion dessert before the weekend is over. How do profiteroles filled with Mexican vanilla-flavored queso fresco and crema Mexicana sour cream sound? I think it would be even more luscious if the profiteroles are drizzled with dulce leche. Mmmm...


Yields: 20 cookies

¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons long-grain white rice flour
⅓ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2½ tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons almond paste
¾ cup queso fresco, tightly packed
1 tablespoon horchata (or rice milk)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
1½ tablespoons crema Mexicana sour cream
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped almonds


For the horchata mix: In a bowl, combine the cinnamon extract, rice flour, horchata drink (or rice milk) and 1½ tablespoons condensed milk. Stir well and set aside.

Making horchata flavored cookies:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a bowl, cream 2½ tablespoons butter and granulated sugar. Add the egg. Mix until smooth. Add all-purpose flour and salt. Mix well. Add the crumbled queso fresco, horchata mix and almond paste. Mix until a wet cookie dough is formed.

Baking cookies:

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper. Using a measuring tablespoon, form 20 balls of cookie dough and place onto the baking sheet. Make sure to space the cookies about 2 inches apart so that they don't touch each other as they expand when they bake.

Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes. Don't over bake them; you want them to be moist. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Layer a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet (for easy clean-up of the cinnamon icing). Transfer the cookies onto the cooling rack.

For the cinnamon icing:

In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cream cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk, light brown sugar, crema Mexicana sour cream and grated cinnamon. Mix well. 

Top each cookie with the cinnamon icing, sprinkle with chopped almonds and dust with a bit of cinnamon.

Serve with piña colada or horchata drink.

Bon appétit!


I used Odense brand almond paste. I love it for when I need a shortcut; it produces delicious pastries. 

You can also freeze the tray of the unbaked cookies for at least one hour, then transfer the cookies into bags that you vacuum-seal and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn. You can store them up to 2 months in the freezer for last minute surprise guests.

Rice flour adds a great texture to the cookies. You can find rice flour in most Asian stores, but I prefer grinding my own. I get a finer flour using the Nutrimill brand mill. You could also replace it with regular all-purpose flour.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 3, 2013.


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