Thursday, December 23, 2021

Polvorones, Not Just for Mexican Weddings

 Melinda Palacio

Your new favorite Christmas Cookie

Last year, during our Covid Christmas Lockdown, I started a new Christmas tradition, making Mexican Wedding Cookies or Polvorones. In my family, the cookies always found at Mexican weddings were Hojarascas, cookies cooked with lard and dipped in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. At an epiphany party and feast that I used to attend in the before times, I always saved room for the powdered sugar domes, filled with chopped pecans, a hint of anise. I learned that these cookies are called by many names, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Snow Cookies, Pecan Sandies, or Polvorones, to name a few. These cookies are simple to make and might bring a tear or two as someone thinks fondly of their childhood. I've been told that they are the taste of childhood. I would have never known had I not attended this year party for the Reyes Magos. I instantly fell in love with the cookie that leaves evidence of your first bite all over your clothes. I made a bunch last Christmas, when I had no where to go and no one to see. This year, during the Covid Christmas reboot, I can't seem to keep enough of them on hand and have given away several dozen to friends.These can also be made keto, vegan, and gluten free.  I'll publish an easy, traditional recipe here for you to try. I can guarantee they will become a part of your Christmas tradition, even if your holiday has a different name. For those partaking, Merry Christmas.  


1 cup of butter (softened preferably at room temperature, you can cheat and pop it in the microwave)

1/2 cup powdered sugar (err on the lesser side, you will need additional powdered sugar for rolling the baked cookies in. 

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of anise

2 1/4 cups of flour

1 cup of pecans (finely chopped)

1/4 teaspoon salt 

extra powdered sugar in a small bowl 

Heat oven to 350 degrees, either lightly spray a cookie sheet or use a silicon mat, in a large bowl add the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, chopped pecans, anise and vanilla, in a separate bowl season the flour with salt and a pinch of cinnamon or a smaller pinch of nutmeg (optional), add flour to the rest of the ingredients, mix well and form into small balls, place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until done but not brown. Allow the cookies to cool slightly and dip each cookie in powdered sugar. Allow to cool and then roll each cookie in the sugar a second time (optional, but they will look better if thoroughly coated). Enjoy and share.

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