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A Colorful And Classic Cookie Polvorones are shortbread cookies that are heavy and delicious, and they come in a variety of colors and versions across the globe. Originating in Spain, polvorones are referred to by several names. At their core "polvo" is Spanish for "powder" or "dust" which is reminiscent of their sugar-covered and crumbly texture. Traditionally popular during the Christmas holidays polvorones are addicting and they can be found and enjoyed throughout the year. After searching on Yelp for an above 4-star Mexican bakery near my Brushy Creek home I gave up and decided to make my own. I took these to a party last weekend and my friends loved them and said they thought I got them from a bakery. Score!

I found the initial recipe from our friends at "Chicano Eats" and adapted it to heighten the flavor to our liking. I've provided some coloring tips below to help you get started. We tricked out our treats in Halloween colors of orange, purple, and green to celebrate the best of fall. We also introduced rainbow sprinkles on top of the cookies which is a perfect way to celebrate birthdays or any fiesta near and dear to your heart. I hope you like the authentic taste of this cookie. Let's get baking!

Time To Prepare: About 30 minutes to prep the dough, 1 or more hours to chill the dough and about 1 hour to bake and rest the cookies. Totally worth it!

Foodie Tips:

  • You can color these cookies or leave them their light almond color. Thanks to gel food coloring, everyone seems to enjoy the saturated cookie colors that brighten any occasion. Gel food coloring (versus food coloring) will bring more color intensity without adding unnecessary liquid which isn't needed for this type of cookie.

  • Cookie Colors: If you're dividing your dough into 3 batches you can use these gel drop approximations to make your custom colors: Orange = 18 red and 18 yellow drops. Purple = 20 red and 8 blue drops. Green = 26 green and 4 blue drops. To make the sprinkle cookies you can add them atop colored cookies or leave your dough "as is" (uncolored) so the sprinkles take center stage. Hot pink or dark blue with rainbow sprinkles is very striking!


4 ⅓ Cups | All-Purpose Flour

2 Teaspoons | Baking Soda 1 Teaspoon | Baking Powder 1 Teaspoon | Kosher Salt

1 ¾ Cups | Buttered Flavored Shortening 1 Cup | White Granulated Sugar ½ Cup | Light Brown Sugar 2 Tablespoons | Pure Vanilla Extract 2 Large | Eggs (Pasture Raised Eggs a Plus) Red, Blue, Yellow, Green | Gel Food Coloring (See Recipe Tip Above) To Coat On Top | White Sparkling Sugar Or Rainbow Sprinkles (Optional)

Recipe Accessories

Large Bowl


Stand Mixer With Paddle Attachment

Silicon Spatula

¼ Cup Sized Cookie Scoop Or Ice Cream Scoop Plastic Wrap

Parchment Paper

Small Plate With Some Extra Granulated Sugar

2 Cookie Sheets - A Large Size Works Best

Large Flat-Bottomed Measuring Cup (To Flatten Your Polvorones)

Cooling Rack(s)

What To Do:

1. Prep Your Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. Set this dry mixture aside. 2. Make The Dough: In your stand mixer's bowl beat together for 2 minutes on medium speed the shortening, the white granulated and light brown sugars and vanilla extract. This mixture will become light and fluffy. During this process scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary to ensure things are well combined. With the mixer still on add the eggs one at a time. Set the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture about 1 cup at a time. Mix and scrape the sides down until things are well combined.

3. Color Your Dough: Divide the dough into individual pieces based on the number of colors you will be making. We made four colors for this batch so we divided the dough into 4 equal parts. Place a single section of the dough in your mixer and turn it on low while you add the desired number of gel food coloring drops. Turn the mixer up to medium speed to ensure the color is blended throughout. Remove the colored dough and place it on a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the ball of dough tightly and ensure there aren't pockets of air. You can roll and pat the dough into a ball shape and place it in the fridge to rest and chill. This step will ensure the flour can fully hydrate and is one of the tips Martha Stewart advocates.

Repeat this process with each of the colors until all your dough is resting in the fridge. Chill your dough for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours if you're in no hurry. I read that after 24 hours the dough will not benefit from additional resting.

4. Prepare To Bake Your Cookies: When you're ready to bake your cookies preheat your oven to 350°F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Two cookie sheets work best as you can be baking one batch while preparing the next. Using your cookie scoop to make a ball of dough and roll it into a round ball with your hands. Roll the cookie ball in the granulated sugar making sure to thoroughly coat the cookie. Place the cookie on your prepared cookie sheet then flatten the cookie ball with the bottom of your measuring cup or you can use a flat object like a wide metal spatula or small cutting board. In this step your polvorone will begin to take on its signature cracked appearance and this is totally normal! Sprinkle some sparkling sugar (or more granulated sugar) on top of the cookie. Repeat until you have about 6 cookies on each sheet. The cookies do not spread too much during baking, but you don't want to have a cookie collision on your baking sheet.

6. Let's Bake: Place your sheet of prepared cookies in the oven - one sheet at a time - until the cookies are cracked but not brown. They took about 11-12 minutes in my gas oven.

7. Rest And Repeat: Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest for about 5 minutes. Transfer the polvorones to a cooling rack until they are cool to the touch. Repeat this process until all cookies are ready.

Yield: 20-22 cookies.

Explore and enjoy more of our family's favorite recipes at – your trusted resource for celebrating the best of Central Texas living through the adventures of food, design, and landscape.

Joe Paul Reider

Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder Austin Realtor® Keller Williams Realty

Email: Mobile: 512-222-3302 Web:

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