-adapted from Diana Kennedy’s Essential Cuisines of Mexico
Yield: 1 dozen cookies
Prep time: 40 minutes plus two hours for dough to chill before rolling out
- ½ cup unskinned almonds
- 8 ounces flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 ounces vegetable shortening
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread unskinned almonds and flour on separate cookie sheets and toast each on top shelf of oven until nuts are crisp and flour is a deep cream color – about 15 minutes.
- Set ingredients aside to cool.
- Turn off oven.
- Sift cooled flour with salt and baking powder and put onto a pastry board. Make a wide well in the center of the flour.
- Put the cooled nuts into the blender with the granulated sugar and blend until fine.
- Put the mixture, along with the butter and shortening, into the center of the well in the flour and mix until dough is crumbly, like pie crust.
- Put the dough onto a square of plastic wrap and gather together.
- Set the dough to chill for two hours in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven again to 350 degrees.
- Butter a cookie sheet, or use a silicon baking sheet.
- Unwrap the dough, and place it between two squares of plastic wrap.
- Press the dough out between the wrap with a rolling pin until it is ¼ inch thick.
- It will be crumbly around the edges. Using a cookie cutter 2 inches in diameter, cut out as many cookies as you can.
- Gather remaining dough and roll out and cut more cookies.
- Transfer cookies to cookie sheet with care, as the dough is fragile.
- Bake on top shelf of oven until they are a pale golden color – 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle well with confectioners’ sugar and set aside to cool.
- Remove polvorones to an airtight container.