Polvorones are traditional cookies from Spain, especially popular during the Christmas season. They comes in many different flavors, including lemon. These cookies are very lemony, with lemon zest, lemon curd, and limoncello. This recipe is easy to prepare, but requires the dough to be chilled for at least 2 hours. Roll out and pop them into the oven, then dust with powdered sugar.
- 1 1/2 cups (200 gr) all purpose flour
- 4 1/2 oz (125 gr) peeled, blanched almonds
- 1 1/4 cups (120 gr) powdered sugar
- 3 1/2 oz (100 gr) vegetable shortening
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 oz (50 gr) lemon curd
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 oz limoncello liqueur
- 1 large egg
- sesame seeds (optional)
- powdered sugar for dusting
TIP: Roasting the flour and toasting the almonds can be done the night before.
First, roast the flour. Heat the oven to 300F (150C). Spread out the flour on a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan. Roast the flour for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and stir the flour using a table knife, then return to the oven to continue roasting. Stir every 5 minutes for a total roasting time of 25 minutes.
Flour will turn a golden color in places. Remove flour from the oven and allow it to cool.
While the flour is cooling, toast the almonds. Toast in the oven, or in an ungreased frying pan on medium heat. Stir often, so nuts toast on all sides. Remove and allow to cool. Once cool, grind the almonds in a food processor until a fine dust.
Using a microplaner or fine grater, grate the colored part of the lemon peel.
Place the vegetable shortening and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together. Add the flour, ground almonds, lemon curd, zest, vanilla extract, limoncello liqueur, and the egg. Mix thoroughly until a homogenous dough is formed.
Shape the dough into a ball. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and heat the oven to 360F (180C).
Roll out the dough using a rolling pin to a thickness of about 1/3 to 1/2-inch (.84 to 1.3 cm. It may be a bit dry and crumbly. Use a round cookie cutter (3-inches wide), or a glass to cut out dough. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet, or baking stone.
Optional: Sprinkle the top of each cookie with sesame seeds and gently press them into the dough with fingers.
Bake in the center rack in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, until they turn a golden color. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet. Dust cookies with powdered sugar, using a sifter or sieve.Polvorones are traditionally wrapped in food grade tissue paper, and each end is twisted. This is a way to make these a festive gift for the holidays.