Thursday, September 11, 2014

Polvorones: One cookie with many faces

 
Polvorones mexicanos  
The recipe for these cookies is so easy to make, and the best part is the versatility of the dough. With the same dough you can make many different cookies or polvorones. The only thing you will change is the shape, flavor or toppings depending on what cookie you want to make with it. I want to thank three great bakers in Mexico: my dear friend Gabriela, from the blog Gabriela Clavo y Canela, in Mexico City; my friend Mario, owner of  Panaderia D’Mario in the State of Morelos; and to Eliseo and Feliciano, bakers at a small bakery in my hometown Tampico, Tamaulipas. They are always kind enough to share their recipes and baking tips with me.
I hope you all enjoy the Polvorones as much as we do at home.
Bakery in Mexico Panaderia
An old and traditional bakery in my hometown.


MAKES 16 LARGE POLVORONES-COOKIES
INGREDIENTS:
  • 300 grams vegetable shortening (about 1 1/2 cup)
  • 250 grams granulated sugar  (1 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 500 grams All Purpose Flour (4 cups)
  • 15 grams  baking powder (4 teaspoons)
  • 3 grams baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/3 cup sugar (granulated) for dusting
OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR TOPPINGS AND FLAVORING
  • Confectioner sugar
  • Egg yolks, beaten
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Vanilla
  • Organic red and yellow food coloring
NOTES:

  • If you prefer to have a vanilla flavor instead of orange, add 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla instead of the orange zest.
  • For chocolate cookies, mix in 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.
  • Some Mexican bakeries sell the pink or yellow colored cookies. If you want to have that same effect, add a few drops of food coloring to the wet ingredients before adding the flour. You can also set aside a portion of the dough and add the food coloring and knead to mix in the color.
  • To give the cookies a shiny and glossy finish, brush egg yolk to the tops before baking.
  • Plan ahead to make the cookies making sure you have all the ingredients. You will need a 3-1/4" biscuit cutter and 2 baking sheets.
  • You can divide the dough and freeze one part for later use.
Polvorones

DIRECTIONS:
Mexican polvorones

SIMPLE CIRCLE SHAPE POLVORONES

1.First, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and turn the oven on  to 325 degrees. Grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. In a medium size bowl mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
3. Using a stand mixer, beat shortening and sugar on medium speed until it turns fluffy and creamy, for about 3 minutes. Add egg and orange zest or vanilla and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mix one cup at a time, scrapping down bowl as needed. Dough will become a little stiff. If you don’t have a stand mixer, mix the ingredients in the same order in a large bowl using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. I had made them using with a stand mixer and by hand and both methods work fine. Of course it will be faster using the stand mixer.

Polvorones Mexicanos 2

4. Divide the dough in half forming a disc with each piece of dough. Roll each disk of dough into a large circle using your rolling pin, about 1/3 inch thick, on lightly floured surfaced. Using the 3 1/4 biscuit cutter, cut out 8 circles, re-rolling dough scraps just once to from more circles. Roll out second disk of dough and proceed to form the rest of the circle as you did with the firs tone.
5. Place dough circles on prepared baking sheets spacing the cookies 1/2 inch apart. Dust center of the cookies with granulate sugar. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 18 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking time. Let the cookies cool on sheets on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling wire racks.

Polvorones
When baking cakes, breads or cookies, I prefer to use grams instead of ounces or cups, tablespoons or teaspoons. When using grams, your measurement of ingredients will be more precise every time. Baking is a little bit of science and art, and every time you change the amount of an ingredient the results are going to be different. Kitchen scales are not expensive and are a very useful tool for your baking.

OTHER SHAPES OF COOKIES USING THE SAME DOUGH
Polvorones Mexicanos
This is another common shape for polvorones, and for this you will need a very highly sophisticated gadget: a glass bottle! Yes, use the tip of a glass bottle to stamp that little circle at the center of the cookies.
1. Place about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in shallow dish. Divide the dough in medium size balls  (65 grams), with your hand roll 16 balls. Roll balls in sugar to coat.
2. Place the balls in a slightly floured surface and with the bottom of a thick glass gently press down one at a time to a  1/3” inch thick. Dust tip of the glass bottle with flour and then gently press the center of the cookie. Some bakeries add 1/4 teaspoon of strawberry preserves in the center circle.
3. Make sure to space cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets and bake for about 18-20 minutes, until edges are golden.
Polvorones Mexicanos ROLL AND CUT
Polvorones Mexicanos
1. Form a log with the dough and refrigerate about 30 minutes, wrapped with plastic film.
2. When ready to bake, cut in 1/3-IN slices, place on baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and bake 18-20 minutes.

GENDARMES
Polvorones Mexicanos 4

1. To form these cookies divide the dough in 65 grams balls, roll them with your hands in a long shape resembling a banana. Gently press your finger in the dough slightly flattening the top.
2.  Mix one egg yolk with few drops of water. Brush the top part of the dough with egg yolk. With a fork scratch the top surface of the dough. Brush egg yolk once again over the top of the cookie dough.
3. Bake as instructed above.

Polvorones mexicanos

As mentioned before, this dough is very versatile, you can just brush the tops with egg yolk before baking to get a glossy cookie, or brush with egg yolk and cover with multicolor sprinkles, or once the cookies are baked and cool down dust them with confectioners sugar. 

Polvorones mexicanos

One cookie dough with many faces... I hope you enjoy this recipe.
¡Buen provecho!
Mely

20 comments:

  1. Hermosos Mely!!! Y por muy buena causa!
    Besos
    Gaby

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mely, una gran entrada la receta de tus polvorones. Me gustan mucho los de naranja. Crees que se pueden hacer con mantequilla en lugar de manteca vegetal?

    Me encantó tu báscula, yo quiero una!

    Besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Nora,
      Si las preparas con mantequilla, entonces las galletas se van a hacer delgadas y expandir. Cuando se hacen con la manteca las galletas mantienen su forma, tamaño y grosor. Lo que causa este efecto es que la mantequilla tiene cierto porcentaje de agua y se derrite más pronto que la manteca. Hey! y bascula que le paso?

      Delete
  3. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have been searching for so long! I've tested a few recipes out but haven't had the results I was looking for. These look like the ones from the panaderia! Wish me luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've made these cookies several times and they are always a hit. My cousin suggested I replace the orange zest with pecans because she thought they would taste great. I ground up some pecans and replaced 150g of the flour with ground pecans. I made small cookies using a 3in round cookie cutter and sprinkled with sugar after they came out of the oven. The result was better than the pecan sandies you buy at stores. Sooo good. Thank you Mely for yet another fabulous recipe!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Maggie Cano,

      I am so glad you liked the recipe and better yet improve it with the addition of pecans. Next time try using peanuts, since there is a Mexican Polvorón with peanuts. I am sure you will also have great results.

      Saludos and happy cooking!

      Delete
  5. I have never commented ok a recipe from online that I've made before, but I had to comment on this one. I made these cookies yesterday and they are amazing!! I'm a chocolate kind of gal and thought I was making these for my family but i ate 2 because they are so good!! The dough seemed a little dry, I had a hard time getting it to roll out without cracking so I used the method of rolling into balls, dipping in sugar and pressing, I'd like to roll them next time, would you suggest a little water? Or an extra egg?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. If you feel the dough is too dry to roll, add 1 teaspoon of cold water, if you still have trouble with the dough at a little more cold water.

      Happy baking!

      Delete
    2. I have to say I had family coming over this evening and my husband made me make more, everybody loved them, with the recipe as is :-) still wasn't able to roll them but didn't add any water at all. Thank you soo much for this recipe!

      Delete
  6. I have read many recipes for this cookie and will definitely give these a try. My son loves these cookies, but there's a peanut/tree nut allergy so we can't get them at the Mexican bakery. (Or any bakery for that matter.) The fact that you credited mexican bakers makes it even better. Will post my results after I've made them. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      I hope you ive this recipe a try. It is so easy to make. Please let me know the results!

      Delete
  7. My little niños(7) love these cookies from the little mercadito/carnicería/panadería/restaurante. Yes, this is one little place that is like all these stores in one. It is like a little piece of Mexico. I love the smells and can not get enough of the good food.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello! I have a big question: of all the recipes for polvorones I've seen online, I'm shocked that not one of them use lard. They all ask for butter and/or shortening. When I ask family what they make their polvorones with they laugh and say, duh, lard! Do you friends at the bakery ever use lard for their polvorones? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Leilani,

      Maybe, you are referring to the cookies know with the following names: Pan de polvo, Hojarascas, and even polvorones, too. Those are mainly made using lard. But the bakery style polvorones are bigger and made with shortening. Happy baking!

      Delete
  9. No sabes como me encantan los polvorones, y la verdad que no sabía que eran tan fácil de hacer (que verguenza!). Me lanzo de ya a hacerlos pronto, sólo que voy a sustituir la manteca vegetal que por aquí no encuentro, por aceite de coco (duro) que creo tiene una textura similar. Abrazos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Heidi,

      Gusto verte por aquí, espero luego vengas a platicarnos cómo te funcionó el aceite de coco. Algunas personas me han preguntado si se puede usar, pero la verdad nunca lo he probado así.

      Saludos!

      Delete
  10. I will be trying this recipe today,I have tried countless recipes trying to recreate the pink polvorones but I haven't been successful thank you for this recipe I hope this is "THE ONE", one question though does it have to be vegetable shortening,I have a shortening made with animal fats will that work too? Or should I use Crisco instead?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      You should use shortening, any brand will do, crisco is fine. It helps to create the crumbly texture of these cookies. Please, do not over knead the dough to avoid a hard cookie.

      Delete
    2. Hello,

      You should use shortening, any brand will do, crisco is fine. It helps to create the crumbly texture of these cookies. Please, do not over knead the dough to avoid a hard cookie.

      Delete

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