Coconut Almond Shortbread - Polvorones de Coco

Coconut Almond Shortbread - Polvorones de Coco. Marian Blazes
    45 mins
Ratings

These cookies are rather unassuming in appearance but they make up for it in flavor. They taste intensely of almond and toasted coconut and have a delicate melt-in-your texture that is irresistible.  

The unique flavor and crumbly texture of polvorones come from an unusual first step: toasting the dry ingredients in the oven before mixing them into the dough.  Even the flour is toasted, which eliminates any moisture gives the cookies an almost sandy texture. In this case, toasted coconut is added to the mix.

The dough is a bit tricky to work with due to its "crumbliness", but it's worth the effort.  

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sweetened dried shredded coconut
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Extra powdered sugar for dusting cookies

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees (F). Spread the almond meal and the 2 cups of flour onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Toast the almond meal and the flour for 20-30 minutes, or until almond meal is fragrant and very lightly browned. 

Remove toasted mixture from the oven and transfer to a bowl to set aside to cool.  Spread the coconut over the baking sheet and return to the oven. Toast the coconut until lightly browned, stirring often.

  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Once it's cool, process the toasted coconut in a food processor until it is very finely ground.

Place the softened butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the powdered sugar.  Starting on a low speed, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.  Add the salt, the vanilla, and the coconut flavoring and mix well.  Add the toasted dry ingredients (flour, almond meal, and coconut) and mix well.  The mixture should be very crumbly, but it should clump together easily when squeezed in your hand.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 min to an hour.    Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/3 inch thickness.  If dough is too crumbly, lightly dampen your hands and knead the dough briefly.  Cut the dough into cookies - either squares or circles - and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar while still warm. 

Store cookies in an airtight container.