Polvorón is one of the most popular Christmas treats in Spain. The term ‘Polvorón’ came from the word ‘polvo’ which means powder or dust. So what exactly is it? It is a type of shortbread – heavy, soft, and crumbly. It is usually made with flour, sugar, milk, and nuts, particularly almonds.
Back in the day, Polvorón was a popular holiday delicacy in Spain. The same is true in Hispanic America as well as in the Philippines. But this treat is now being made all year round. I grew up enjoying Polvorón. I remember going to this corner store to get a handful of Polvoróns for me and my cousins. 🙂
There are various Polvorón recipes. It is actually a very versatile dish because you can add a lot to it, especially if you want it to have more texture.
This type of shortbread has its origin in Andalusia. Back then, people ate Polvorón to demonstrate their faith in the Catholic religion. This is exactly the reason why it became one of the main dishes during Catholic festivities. But now, you don’t have to be a Catholic to enjoy it. You also don’t need to wait for any festivity. You can make it any time you want to!
Soft and crumbly, that’s what these polvorons are. They literally melt in your mouth! They are easy to customize with other flavors, just perfect for a snack or dessert.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup lard or melted butter
1 cup raw almonds (peeled)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grind the peeled raw almonds.
- Put the ground almonds with flour in a tray suitable for the oven and toast them for about 40 minutes.
- Remove the almond mixture from the oven and let cool.
- Mix the lard or melted butter with the powdered sugar in a bowl.
- Add the rest of the flour and almond mixture to the bowl and mix everything together.
- Make a ball with the dough that was formed, cover it with a plastic wrap, and let it rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is about 1 cm thick.
- Cut out polvorons using a cookie cutter. Carefully put them in a tray.
- While filling the tray with cut-out polvorons, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit again. Cook them at that temperature for about 15 minutes.
- Let the polvorons cool completely.
- Dust them with powdered sugar.
- When toasting the almonds, be sure to rotate the tray so that they toast evenly.
- Do not put the dough in the fridge because then it will get hard and will be hard to handle.
- You can also add nutmegs and cinnamon to the flour.
Traditionally, Polvoróns are served for breakfast or as an afternoon snack during the Catholic holidays. But now, you can have them anytime you want. They also go well with any drink, from coffee to hot chocolate.
The bottom line is, you need to make a huge batch, especially when entertaining a crowd. This way, everybody can grab a handful! 🙂