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Wild Costa Rica

Time for Independence Day goodies

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Published on Friday, September 15, 2023

By Melissa Pette

Let's celebrate Costa Rica's birthday today and for the rest of the weekend.

Nothing says Happy Independence Day! better than the colors of the beautiful Costa Rica flag in a frozen cocktail.

Or... what about snacks for the kids? Here are some colorful cookies as patriotic sweets for everybody.

So, let's go to the kitchen.

Frozen flag lemonade

There is nothing better than an ice cold lemonade on a warm Sept. morning.

Well... maybe a boozy frozen lemonade.

Ingredients for four large drinks that are easy to find at any supermarket in Costa Rica are: 

  • 13 cups of ice.

  • 1 cup of tequila (or guaro Cacique brand is more patriotic).

  • 1 cup of lemonade juice.

  • 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk.

  • 1 cup of red syrup.

  • Blue food coloring.

  • Four large glasses or smoothie glasses.

First, add 12 cups of ice to the blender. Add cold water to cover about half the ice. 

Pulse until the majority of the ice forms chunks about 1/4- inch in size. 

Dump the mixture into a mesh strainer. If necessary, pick out larger chunks of ice. Store the crushed ice in the freezer for five minutes.

Split the crushed ice into three containers. 

Add red syrup to one of the containers and mix well. 

Add condensed milk to another container and mix. 

Add four drops of blue food coloring to the third container and mix. 

Store them again in the freezer.

Add tequila or guaro, lemonade, and one cup of ice to the blender and mix until slushy. Its not as important for this layer to be thick, but it should be comparable to the others. When finished, set aside.

Prepare drinks by layering (inside each glass) the flavors in this order: the red syrup crushed ice, the blue crushed ice, the sweetened condensed milk crushed ice and finish with the tequila lemonade on top. 

Serve immediately. 

You're welcome!

Patriotic colorful cookies

Now something sweet for the kids. Like these red, white and blue cookies.

Truthfully, these cookies are a breeze to make. The only challenge comes from stacking and rolling the dough so that it looks festive once its baked. But the look on the kid's, family or friends' faces when they see these cookies makes it worth the extra effort!

Ingredients for 16 cookies are:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature.

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar.

  • 1 large egg.

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

  • 1/2 tsp almond extract.

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour.

  • 3/4 tsp baking powder.

  • 1/4 tsp salt.

  • Red and blue food coloring

  • Sanding sugar for decorating (thin sugar also works).

First, using a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. It's about 3-4 minutes on medium-high speed.

Add egg, vanilla extract and almond extract; mix on low speed until well combined.

Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix on low speed until well combined.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. 

Place one piece back in the mixer bowl and add several drops of red food gel; mix until the color is uniform throughout the dough.

Use food coloring gels rather than liquid. The gels can be found in most supermarkets in Costa Rica or bake-craft stores.

Repeat the process using another piece of dough and the blue food gel. 

Note that the third piece of dough does not get colored.

Press each piece of dough into 4-inch squares and cover each piece individually with plastic wrap. Fridge for one hour.

Remove one piece of dough and place it between 2 sheets of wax paper. 

Roll dough into a 9x12 rectangle. 

Repeat the process with the remaining 2 pieces of dough. 

Fridge dough in between sheets of wax paper for 30 more minutes.

Remove all 3 pieces of dough from the fridge. 

Peel the top layer of wax paper from each layer and discard.

Flip the piece of plain dough on top of the red dough; remove the wax paper. 

Flip the piece of blue dough on top of the plain dough; remove the wax paper.

Cut the stacked dough crosswise to create (2) 4.5x12 stacks of dough. 

Roll each of the stacks into a tight log lengthwise. 

Place on the parchment-lined sheet pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Fridge for 1 hour.

Now let's bake. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a serrated knife, slice each log into 1/4 rounds. Place each round onto a prepared baking sheet. 

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies generously with sanding sugar. If the dough is too soft, fridge for another 30 minutes.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just begin to turn brown.

Let cookies cool on pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks until completely cooled.

These fun and colorful cookies will be loved by kids and adults alike!

Have a Pura Vida Independence Day!

Find more tasty step-by-step Costa Rican food recipes on 
the AM Costa Rica Food & Good Eating page. You are invited to share your favorite recipes with a horizontal photo of the dish by emailing food@amcostarica.com