My husband is from Mexico, and all his family still live in Mexico. We are lucky that they visit us frequently. On one of those visits, my mother-in-law brought a delicious pastry with her called coyotas. When I ate them, I thought that they were pie crust filled with dulce de leche, but after unsuccessfully trying to replicate them, I finally tracked down a recipe and discovered that they are filled with piloncillo, which is a raw brown sugar pressed into a cone or disk. You can see a picture below.
You can purchase piloncillo at grocers that stock a lot of Mexican/Hispanic foods. I bought mine at Wal-Mart. They are very hard, and you can grate them on your box grater or do what I did which is cut them with a serrated knife and then run it through a food processor.
This “cookie” (really more like a pastry) is only lightly sweet and has a very tender crust which sandwiches a filling of grated piloncillo. I like to dust mine with sparkling sugar because I think it looks prettier, and it adds a bit more sweetness, which I like.
7 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb. shortening
1 and 3/4 tablespoons Baking powder
1 and 1/2 cup piloncillo, ground or chopped, divided
1 cup water
1 tablespoon flour
Step 1. Put 1/2 cup grated or shredded piloncillo in the cup of water and simmer in a pan on the stove until brown sugar is completely dissolved. (You can also do this in the microwave). Once completely dissolved, allow to cool.
Step 2. In mixer bowl place the flour, salt, and shortening. Stir with the paddle on low speed until it has a sandy consistency.
Step 3. Add the baking powder and the piloncillo dissolved in water. Mix until fully combined. Remove from mixer and knead by hand for about 3 minutes. You should have a soft dough that is smooth and doesn’t stick to the table. Cover with a cloth and let stand 30 minutes.
Step 4. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Step 5. Mix the full cup grated piloncillo with the tablespoon of flour and set aside.
Step 6. This recipe yields 20 coyotas, so split the dough in 40 balls (20 bases and 20 tops). Adjust balls accordingly to get them as even as possible. Once all the dough balls are ready, put in a tortilla press and flatten. If you do not have a tortilla press, you can press the dough with a pyrex lid against a flat surface.
Step 7. Stuff the coyotas by putting a bottom disk on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or greased. Scoop a spoonful of the piloncillo with flour mix and spread on the base, then cover with the coyota top and press the edges one against the other to seal the cookie. You can use a fork or your fingers for this.
Step 8. Bake the coyotas in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, until they get a nice golden brown color. Take out of the oven, remove from pan and let them cool down completely before serving.
These coyotas are a little bit different than other pastries you may have had and are great with some milk!