It's only four weeks until the release of my new novel "Delicious Temptation." As part of the countdown, I'd like to highlight four of the delicious desserts featured in the book by sharing a little bit about the history and tradition behind it and also
sharing a favorite recipe.
sharing a favorite recipe.
I say Polvorones, maybe you say Mexican Wedding Cookies? Or maybe even Russian Tea Cakes?
Whatever you call them, I think we can all agree that these cookies are little heavenly bites of buttery, sugared goodness.
I was first introduced to these cookies by my tia Elva. These are her favorite and she'd often bake them for special occasions. And today, these are my must-bake Christmas cookies. They are so good and so tempting. Maybe that's why I usually only bake them once a year. If I did it more often, I'd be in trouble!
It is believed that the cookies originated in Spain and the recipe came about due to a surplus in lard. When they were offered at Mexican weddings, they were presented stacked on top of each other in a pyramid, which is why some recipes direct you to flatten the tops of the rolled dough balls. And although they're often called Mexican Wedding Cookies, I've never personally seen these offered at weddings. But that doesn't mean they aren't anymore.
I did some research and it seems like the name Polvoron comes from the word Polvo which translates into "a fine dust or powder." That could be in reference to the finely ground nuts that are usually found inside the cookies or the dusting of the powdered sugar that is usually found on their tops. Or their crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture. As for the nuts, you can use pecans or walnuts, I even saw a recipe that used pine nuts! The cookies found in many traditional panaderias also carry a hint of cinnamon and anise. I prefer mine as simple as they can be. Butter, sugar, flour, pecans, vanilla and a dash of salt.
These are the perfect cookies to enjoy with a mug of Mexican hot chocolate or coffee. I've been known to have a few for breakfast on Christmas Day (along with a tamale, of course)!
If you're a fan of shortbread cookies or of butter in general, I believe you'd enjoy Polvorones. Just a warning, though. They're highly addictive. You can't ever eat just one.
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter; gradually beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, pecans, and salt. Blend well. Gradually add flour until soft blended dough forms. Separate the dough into two balls and cover with plastic wrap. Chill until cold – about 30 minutes (you can also make ahead for the next day but bring to room temperature before forming balls).
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Shape into balls, using about 1 tablespoon for each cookie. Place cookies on baking sheets, spacing them ½ inch apart and bake or 18 to 20 minutes or until cookies are a light golden brown.
Pour remaining confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Roll warm cookies in confectioners' sugar mixture and place on a rack to cool. Add more sugar as needed to coat remaining cookies.
Have fun baking and eating them. I'd love to hear back if you do try out the recipe. Take some pictures too and I'll post them on my Facebook page and share them on Twitter! Send your photos to me at email@example.com.
ABOUT DELICIOUS TEMPTATION:
The only thing naughtier than a bad boy is a good girl...
Amara Maria Robles is a good girl. So good that she gave up her dreams of becoming a renowned pastry chef to help her parents with their struggling Mexican bakery. Yet her parents reject any changes she suggests, and refuse to sell her mouth-watering confections. Clearly being a good girl isn't paying off. So when her brother's sexy ex-best friend walks into the bakery, Amara's tempted to be very bad indeed...
After a scandal twelve years ago, resident bad boy Eric Valencia has returned to make things right with his family and friends. One glance at Amara and her wicked curves, however, and Eric finds himself thinking about how she’d feel beneath him—something he promised Amara's brother he would never think about, let alone do.