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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!

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

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