Bake it: Pan de Polvo (Mexican cookies!)

Good evening, lovelies! How are your Christmas preparations coming along? TEN DAYS LEFT! Ah! I can hardly believe it. We actually JUST got our tree up the other day and I’ve only wrapped one gift. We’ve been buying a lot online and so it comes to us in a box and…well, there hasn’t been a reason for us to wrap those, you know? I’ll eventually make them pretty, but right now my boys can’t see what they’re getting so it’s ok.

ANYWAY, I am here with a recipe! I’ll share a few with you over the next week or so. My aunt is hosting a cookie exchange this weekend, so I’m trying some recipes out. Three or so. I hope you enjoy this first one, as it took a while to get down.

Let me start at the beginning? Another aunt of mine always makes the best pan de polvo cookies. They’re a Mexican tradition around Christmas time and at weddings. I asked for the recipe and she struck me DOWN, guys. Apparently her’s is a secret. I don’t mess with that, so I moved on. I checked online and there are so many variations, I didn’t know how to narrow it down.

Fast forward to this past weekend and my GRANDPA shares this one he uses. He knew it by memory! I changed it only slightly to add in some extra spice, but yah…here it is! They pretty scrumptious.

NOTE: This recipe yield A LOT. Like, over 10 dozen in the size I made, more if you roll out your dough and make smaller cookies. You could halve it or even third it and still get a substantial amount. I made the whole thing, split my dough in thirds and refrigerated it for another day. We have a lot of Christmas parties to go to, so I’m SURE it will be used up. Sharing is caring.

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Ingredients
1 teaspoon anise seed
3 cinnamon sticks

3 cups of sugar, separated (2c + 1c)
3 lbs vegetable shortening
5 lbs all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1 tablespoon, separated
1 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat your oven to 375F.

Place the cinnamon sticks and anise into 1.5 cups of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Set aside to cool.

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Combine 2 cups of sugar and the shortening. Mix well.



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In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to your sugar mixture 1-2 cups at a time. This makes A LOT of dough and you may need to put it into a bigger bowl. It will slightly resemble pie crust dough.

Slowly add in the cinnamon anise tea (up to 1 cup). Mix it very well, getting the tea to permeate the entire dough.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. You can wrap two and put them in the fridge for later, or the next day. I’m also told you can freeze it, but I haven’t tried.

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Form into balls, using a cookie scoop to measure the size.

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I like to roll it and press it into a disk about 1.5″ wide and half an inch thick.

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Evenly space them on a cookie sheet (I could fit 15 on mine) and bake them for about 20 minutes or until they turn light brown on the edges. WATCH THEM!

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While the cookies are baking, make a cinnamon-sugar mixture. My ratio is 1.5 tablespoon of cinnamon for every cup. You can add more/less cinnamon if you like. It’s up to you!

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While the cookies are still warm, gently toss them in the sugar mixture.

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Place them on a rack to finish cooling. They taste best the next morning. It’s a crumbly delightful cookie. Great with a hot cup of coffee or perhaps some Mexican hot chocolate?

Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 teaspoon anise seed
3 cinnamon sticks

3 cups of sugar, separated (2c + 1c)
3 lbs vegetable shortening
5 lbs all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1 tablespoon, separated
1 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat your oven to 375F.

Directions
Place the cinnamon sticks and anise into 1.5 cups of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Set aside to cool.

Combine 2 cups of sugar and the shortening. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and cinnamon.

Add the flour mixture to your sugar mixture 1-2 cups at a time. [This makes A LOT of dough and you may need to put it into a bigger bowl.] It will slightly resemble pie crust dough.

Slowly add in the cinnamon anise tea (up to 1 cup). Mix it very well, getting the tea to permeate the entire dough.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. You can wrap two and put them in the fridge for later, or the next day. I’m also told you can freeze it, but I haven’t tried.

Form into balls, using a cookie scoop to measure the size. I like to roll it and press it into a disk about 1.5″ wide and half an inch thick.

Evenly space them on a cookie sheet (I could fit 15 on mine) and bake them for about 20 minutes or until they turn light brown on the edges. WATCH THEM!

While the cookies are baking, make a cinnamon-sugar mixture. My ratio is 1.5 tablespoon of cinnamon for every cup. You can add more/less cinnamon if you like. It’s up to you! While the cookies are still warm, gently toss them in the sugar mixture.

Place them on a rack to finish cooling.

54 comments to Bake it: Pan de Polvo (Mexican cookies!)

  • AnheloNo Gravatar

    Just what I needed. I was getting tired of the oatmeal cookies. My grandma loves these ones, only I know them as polvorones. I’m going to have to make them. Drools.

  • mmmmm. reminds me of what we make here in New Mexico, biscochitos…’cept we use lard! :)

  • yum!! I made some mexican wedding cookies some time ago and loved them. gotta try these soon. thanks for sharing! :)

  • Yum. Great, now I am hungry ;)

  • These look so yummy! I am going to give them a try very soon. As always, thanks for sharing your many talents!

  • EsmeraldaNo Gravatar

    These look delightful, they actually resemble the pan de polvo cookies I love!! Where does this recipe originate? I am trying to find a recipe from Rio Grande City, TX.

    • Raquel HuizarNo Gravatar

      It is the same recipe except they us lard in the Rio Grande,Tx. I know because my aunt gave me the same ingredients except for vegtable shortening became lard because it changes the cookies texture to a more crispy, flaky,and wonderful taste.

  • ElaineNo Gravatar

    Thank you for posting this recipe! My mother has alzheimer’s and couldn’t tell me the recipe.

  • GuadalupeNo Gravatar

    They are good. My mama used to make them with pork lard. But they are just as good with vegitable shortening. But with the pork lard is how I remember them.

  • lilyNo Gravatar

    Has anyone ever cut this recipe in half or thirds? Seems like a lot of dough.

    • Richard CNo Gravatar

      I have a recipe for making smaller portions. It very easy too remember. I use 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup shortening and 3/4 cup sugar and 1Tbls ground cinnamon. Mix all ingredients together until you get a nice soft dough. Take wax paper and make rolls if dough about 2in in diameter. Refrigerate about an hour. When ready slice 1/3 inch and place on cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 to 15 min. Let them cool completely before you dust with cinnamon sugar mixture. If they are not cooled they will be very crumbly. Use a spatula to remove from cookie sheet. Handle with care. Enjoy!!

      • Elisa M.No Gravatar

        Thank you so much for the tip about making the rolls, refrigerating and then slicing. It made things SO much easier!

      • MariaNo Gravatar

        Hi Richard, thanks for the smaller portion recipe, but how much cinnamon/anise tea do you make/use? 1/2 cup?

      • RaddieNo Gravatar

        Can U use lard. The recipe I had used lard. And there was no refridgeration requires. I rolled them into balls and pressed with a fork. Then rolled them hot in the Cinnamon mixture. They were very flaky. Lost the recipe. Got the recipe from my Hispanic friend in San Antonio, Texas. Haven’t found a recipe quite like that one. I need help.

        • dandiNo Gravatar

          I use lard. You probably already have an answer, but here is my reply anyway. This is the site that has the recipe i remember authentic tex-mex foods & recipes on facebook

  • BrittanyNo Gravatar

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I used your recipe a few days ago with the help of my mom and omg they came out good. Once again thank you.

    • Awesome! I’m going to be making them tomorrow for a party, this weekend. I’m prepared to make a HUGE batch. I predict I’ll be eating cookies for breakfast for WEEKS!

  • Raquel HuizarNo Gravatar

    I have also incorporated pecans and/or small pieces of walnuts into the dough to give it a crunch and a great taste. Enjoy!

  • PatNo Gravatar

    Question: when preparing the cinnamon anise tea and it’s time to pour the tea, do you leave the seeds of the anise or remove them? Let me know, I plan to try your recipe tomorrow. Thanks!

  • PatNo Gravatar

    Question: when preparing the cinnamon anise tea and it’s time to pour the tea, do you leave the seeds of the anise or remove them? Let me know. Thanks!

  • norieNo Gravatar

    the best, my family are from texas and these were always made at christmas and I was glad to make them for mine here in washington.

  • JackieNo Gravatar

    What size disher are you using?

  • dreamerNo Gravatar

    Gana try to make them for thanksgiving fingers crossed wish me luck

  • juliaNo Gravatar

    i have been looking for this recipe for some time. My Abuela used to make them around Christmas time. She also added ground anise seed to her recipe and used lard. She ground the seeds with a mortar and pestle. Hoping they’re as good as hers.

  • Norma Cummings-PerezNo Gravatar

    Found a recipe before this one. Called for self rising flour. Made a batch n had to throw it away.
    Found this one and I have made 3 batches in the last week n 1/2. My father-in-law said they tasted professional!!! :))) 5*****

  • mariaNo Gravatar

    Yummy my gma would always make us some

  • MiraNo Gravatar

    I made these at Christmas and they were a hit, actually making these for my daughter’s first communion party coming up in 3 weeks

  • I am very frustrated by the measurements being in pounds rather than cups. And, when I try to find the answers other places, there are varying answers. Would you please give conversions in cups?

    • KarenNo Gravatar

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Usually at the bottom of the product it will tell you how much the weight is. Take a bag of flour, on the bottom of the left hand it should have the net. It should say 5 lb. Same thing with the shortening. Hope this helped :)

    • EsmerNo Gravatar

      Flour is sold in 5 lbs and the can of shortening is just a bit over 3 lbs. I use the entire can of shortening.

  • shortyNo Gravatar

    You strain the tea mexican

  • shortyNo Gravatar

    Just a tip. The brand of shortening makes the difference. Don’t use lard, use shortening. As for pan de polvo was born in Texas by tejans mexican American women. As for Polvorones they originate from Mexico and are not the same thing. They are hard and don’t melt in your mouth. The recipe I use is different and the cookie a melt in your mouth. The recipe is a family secret recipe that my great aunt and she taught my mother. Last year I sold over 200 pounds. I sell them expensive. Lol

  • BettyNo Gravatar

    Polvorones are they called in my country, Spain, where they are originally from. Do not forget Mexicans mainly come from Spaniards and the recipe is used since ages ago…. And for X-mas. Look for its origin in Spain in tradiciones de navidad or Xmas traditions. :)

  • JackieNo Gravatar

    I’ve made these as well, with a slight variation on the ingredients, best pan de polvo EVER! I use my cookie press & cranked them out QUICK!

  • CrisNo Gravatar

    Instead of shortening can I use butter?

  • PattyNo Gravatar

    I do 1.5 lbs reg. Crisco and 1.5 lbs butter Crisco, also add cut up pecans to dough, powder sugar some also!

  • Please, how would you cut down this recipe for about 5 or 6 dozen? I really want to make these, but not that many.

  • Could you please cut down this recipe for about 5 or 6 dozen? This is just too much for a small family. Thank you.

  • Ruben DeLaRosaNo Gravatar

    Hey all you bakers, our batch this year seems to crumbly, not standing up to even being taken of the cookie sheet, let alone being dipped in cinnamon and sugar mix.

    Any suggestions on how to make the dough a little more cohesive. What did we do wrong?

    Ruben

  • Valerie LealNo Gravatar

    My recipe calls for a can of coke or Pepsi delicious cookies

    • KatNo Gravatar

      Hi Valerie! I’ve been looking for the recipe with coke forever! If you wouldn’t mind sharing it, I would greatly appreciate it!
      Thanks,
      Kat

      • Debra LUNNENNo Gravatar

        I’ve been on a Hunt ! My friend gave this recipe in 1975 ! I feel n Love ! It was so simple I thought I’d never forget it ! NOT !!! I remember 1 can of Coke 1 box lard and flour and sugar. I can’t remember the amounts of sugar or flour ! This is the closet I ever found to this great cookie ! So, Kat did you ever get the beloved recipe ?? I would be so happy to have it ! I’ve been search so long and to have it would finely put my mind at ease, as I’m getting older ! Thank You so Bery much !!!!

  • Veronica GarzaNo Gravatar

    I’ve been making them for the past 3 Christmas and they are awesome. I make about 10 to 14 dozens give or take to give them away to family and my daughter’s friends at school. The only difference is that I use a small cookie cutter to make and don’t use a scoop. Better than any I have ever tasted.

  • Mandy AlvizoNo Gravatar

    I am needing a cookie for 100 second graders….will this make enough?

    • CeliaNo Gravatar

      The author of this recipe said it makes about 10 dozen cookies in the size she describes in the directions. That would give 120 children one cookie. I would think a serving would be 2 or 3 cookies, so if I were doing this, I would probably make two batches. (I would use the make a roll in waxed paper, chill and slice method.) I would not make more than one batch at a time. By the time you finish the first batch, you will have a good idea of how many more you will need.

  • Celebrity Cake Shop was known for having some of the BEST pan de polvo in South Texas. Now they are concentrating on shipping online through http://www.Felizsta.com and can ship nation-wide! Just FYI :) In case you are ever too tired to bake your own!

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