Says author/chef Mariana Velásquez:
Cucas, or spicy molasses cookies, are cakey cookies, similar in texture to whoopie pies, whose name has made generations of mischievous kids chuckle. Along with a Pony Malta they were the ultimate after-school combo: the burnt sugar, spices, and a cakey tex-ture on one side; the bubbly satisfaction of an ice-cold malt soda on the other. These cucas are less sweet than regular biscuits, so they are a neutral base for creamy malt ice cream.
Malta is to Colombians what root beer is to Americans. And much like cilantro or Hawaiian pizza, this is quite the divisive taste. You either love or hate it.
But whether you chuckle at the many connotations of the name of the cookies or can’t stomach a malty drink, this recipe will make you rethink both. Make the cucas in advance and either serve with Malt Ice Cream or your favorite store- bought salted caramel ice cream.”
From the book COLOMBIANA by Mariana Velásquez. Copyright © 2021 by Mariana Velásquez. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.
Photos by Gentl & Hyers.