Queque, queki or keke, even in Panama they can’t decide how to write the name of this traditional cookie. Every family has their own recipe for queki cookies. In some recipes you will only find coconut and sugar cane syrup (miel de caña) as flavoring. In other recipes you can find almost all of the spices used in gingerbread or the Dutch speculaas. Queki cookies from Panama are sometimes made with eggs which makes them light and fluffy. I chose a version without egg with a slightly more compact result. If you don’t bake these cookies too long, they will stay soft, if you bake them a little longer, they will become nice and crunchy. I prefer the crunchy version of the queki cookie from Panama, but just try and find out which one is your favorite!
Queki cookie from Panama
for ± 18 cookies
225 g / 1 2/3 cup of flour
40 g / scant ½ cup grated dessicated coconut
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
25 g /1½ tbsp of butter, in pieces
80 ml / 5 ½ tbsp kitchen syrup (+ more if needed)
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. In a large bowl mix the flour with the coconut, salt, cinnamon and the baking soda.
Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until fine crumbs form. Mix in the kitchen syrup and shape into ball. Add some extra syrup if the dough is still crumbly.
Roll ± 20 balls from the dough and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes until done. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
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