Polvorón – Spanish Christmas Cookies & Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

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Polvorón means “dust” in Spanish, and that’s really how soft and crumbly these Spanish Christmas cookies are! They’re pretty much the same thing as Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, Southern pecan butter balls, Italian Butter Nut, Viennese Sugar Ball, snowdrop, snowball, etc etc WHATEVER! The point is, they’re buttery, soft, delicious, and so perfect with hot chocolate in the Winter. WAAAIIIT. Why not Mexican hot chocolate cookies?! These cookies are similar to chocolate crinkles, but instead of being coated with powdered sugar, it is coated with granulated sugar with cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
 Polvorónes
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans
extra powdered sugar (for rolling baked cookies in)
1) Toast pecans until they are slightly crunchy and fragrant. Ground them in food processor or chop them as finely as you can with a knife.
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2) Beat softened butter until it is smooth. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. About 2 minutes.
3) Add vanilla and continue mixing.
4) With a rubber spatula, incorporate in flour and salt into the butter mixture until everything is well mixed together.
5) Refrigerate dough ball for 15 minutes to firm it up and allow easier shaping.
6) Preheat oven to 400°F
7) Form dough into small round balls about 1 inch in diameter and place them onto ungreased baking sheets or parchment paper.
8) Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies begin to slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the baking pan for 5 minutes or so. While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar until they’re evenly coated.
Makes about 12-14 cookies
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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Coating:
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
**(optional) small pinch of cayenne pepper

 

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1) Preheat oven to 400°F.
2) With a mixer, beat softened butter until it is smooth. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. About 2 minutes.
3) Add egg and continue to beat.
4) Add dry ingredients (flour, cream of tartar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt) and incorporate with a rubber spatula. Continue until everything is mixed in thoroughly.
5) Form dough into small balls about 3/4 inch in diameter.
6) In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon (and cayenne pepper**). 
7) Roll cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar until the entire ball is coated.
8) Bake cookies for 12-12 minutes and watch the surface crinckle open!
9) Remove from the oven when cookies are done and transfer to cooling rack.

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