Better known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, “Polvorones” in Spanish, although traced back originally to Medieval Arab cuisine, can be found in various Latin American countries, as well as Spain, Mexico and the Philippines.
By Marnely Rodriguez
Below, an excerpt from Food Timeline about Mexican Wedding Cookies:
“Food historians trace the history of these cookies and cakes to Medieval Arab cuisine, which was rich in sugar. Small sugar cakes with nuts (most often almonds) and spices were known to these cooks and quickly adopted by the Europeans. This sweet culinary tradition was imported by the Moors to Spain, diffused and assimilated throughout Europe, then introduced to the New World by 16th century explorers.”
These are sturdy but melt in your mouth cookies that are perfect as small treats and gift ideas. They stand up to the mail services, if you ever want to surprise a loved one with Polvorones in the mail. The recipe below is a guide, one in which you can definitely change and substitute ingredients in. Use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, for a healthier version; grind your own nuts to use as the flour, being creative and trying new ones like pistachios or pecans. And the nut butters? Possibilities are endless with nut butters in all flavors: almond, pecan, cashew, walnut, and even macadamia! For the finishing touches, add spices to the powdered sugar for an extra level of flavor.
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine vanilla salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ stick butter, softened
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, combine all purpose flour, salt, sugar, almond flour, and cornstarch. Whisk until incorporated.
- Softened the butter in the microwave and quickly add the almond butter and vanilla extract.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and let the dough rest for 2 hours.
- Scoop with spoon or shape into balls. Bake at 350F, for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are slightly golden.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and roll in powdered sugar.
Marnely Rodriguez-Murray is the author of the food blog Cooking with Books. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, she has worked as an Overnight Bread Baker in Colorado, a Chocolate Maker in Virginia as well as a Pastry Cook on the whimsical island of Martha’s Vineyard, just to name a few. She currently resides on Martha's Vineyard with her chef-husband, where they are both on an endless search for Caribbean flavors, new culinary trends and gastronomic inspiration.