April 20, 2023

The Best Conchas (Recipe from Aunt Licha)

Last weekend, I visited my grandmother and had a family breakfast. You know, the type of gatherings that start early and end 5 or 7 hours later than you expected. Partly because everyone arrives at different times (as if we've never been told what time to arrive) and partly because each person who arrives brings something to share, even if it's just gossip. 

My favorite moment of these fun events is watching Aunt Licha arrive with her basket full of sweet bread and witnessing how in less than 10 minutes all the creations she worked on the night before disappear in seconds, reminding us of our childhoods and leaving a bit of sugar on the corners of our smiles.

From the basket of sweet bread where there were "orejitas" (a type of cookie), "campechanas" (a flaky pastry), gingerbread pigs, and other delights, I took, as always, a vanilla "concha". That's when I had the idea to ask my aunt for her recipe. To be honest, I didn't think she would share it with me, but after some talking and two eggnogs, she gave me her consent to share it with you. After all, my aunt says that "each person imparts their flavor and emotions to what they cook."

Aunt Licha's Conchas

      (12 pieces)


For the dough:

For the topping:


For the dough

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, salt, and yeast.
  2. Add the butter, eggs, warm milk, and vanilla extract to the bowl (you can add a little more vanilla extract, but not too much). Mix everything until a dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for approximately 5-10 minutes, until it's smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
  5. Have a coffee, chat with a friend, or catch up with your favorite telenovela or TV show for an hour.
  6. After that hour, punch down the dough and divide it into 12 equal parts.
  7. Shape each part into a ball and place them on a baking tray lined with wax/parchment paper.

For the topping

"A good concha is always crowned with a good topping."

  1. To make the topping, mix the butter, sugar, and flour until well combined. This is where you decide if you want to use food coloring or even cocoa powder to give it another color and a little touch of flavor. Aunt Licha says she prefers Conchas that don't have those things, but it's up to you.
  2. Divide the mixture into 12 equal parts.

To create the conchas

  1. Slightly flatten each ball of dough and use a sharp knife to make a cross pattern on the top.
  2. Place a portion of the topping on each ball of dough, gently pressing it down. You can draw a pattern lightly on the topping, but it's not necessary.
  3. Cover the tray with a towel/cloth and let the dough rise for another 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Bake the Conchas for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Remove the Conchas from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  7. Share them (or don’t) and enjoy your freshly baked Conchas!

We hope you enjoy the recipe, if you end up baking it, don't forget to share a photo with us!

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