I fell in love with these christmas cookies the first time I visited Mexico City. I attended a December wedding and, along with lots of delicious, fresh food, these little cookies were served at each table. They called the cookies Polvorones but, being born and raised in Spain, I have a very traditional picture of what a polvorón is and this recipe isn’t it. Maybe it was their bite-size appeal, cute powdery look, or delicious dissolve-in-your-mouth taste, but I do remember thinking to myself: I must learn how to make these Christmas and wedding delights.
Read Related: Eva Longoria’s Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe
A LITTLE TOO MUCH INFO?
Here I was at a wedding in Mexico, sitting next to the old ladies by the coffee and tea area while everyone else danced. They all had stories to tell me about how these cookies were served at their weddings many years back. One woman told me that she had a plate of these cookies brought up to her room after her wedding as a post-you-know-what snack!
That story (and all the details given by a woman who had way too much tequila) did not deter me from making my own once arriving back home. Given that I lived in California, I used walnuts instead of the pecans in the traditional recipe. You can use other nuts such as pistachios and cashews as well.
Read Related: Recipe for Abuelita’s Mazapán de Toledo
CHRISTMAS COOKIES WITH LATIN FLAIR
My own recipe, adapted from Bon Appetit
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
2 cups pastry flour (you can use all purpose flour too)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
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- Over medium-high heat, toast chopped walnuts in a pan for 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently so the walnuts don’t burn. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In your mixing bowl, beat butter until it’s light and fluffy. Add ½ cup powdered sugar and Mexican vanilla; beat until it’s well blended into a paste. Slowly beat in flour, ½ cup at a time. Finally, fold in toasted chopped walnuts.
- Remove dough, form a large ball and divide in half. Wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a flat pie dish, mix remaining 1½ cups powdered sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Set aside.
- Remove half of the dough from fridge and using a large spoon, scoop out about 2 Tablespoonfuls onto your palm. Begin rolling dough into balls and place them on a large baking sheet spaced ½ inch apart.
- Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and light golden brown on top, about 16-18 minutes. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet and roll warm cookies in powdered sugar and cinnamon mixture. Next, transfer covered cookies to cooling racks.
- Repeat process with remaining half of the dough. Once you have baked and rolled all cookies, sift powdered sugar over cookies for extra sweetness.