Polvorones de Aceite – Spanish Christmas Almond Cookies Made With Olive Oil

Posted · 31 Comments


I am so excited… giddy, jumping up and down… literally, to share this polvorones recipe with you.

As I’ve shared over the past couple of years, polvorones and mantecados are one of the most popular Christmas cookies in Spain.  I can’t imagine a Christmas without a soft crumbly Spanish almond cookie.

As I’ve shared in the past, they’re traditionally made using pork lard.  I’d spend a day home rendering lard specifically for these cookies and then spend a couple of days making batches to share with family and friends.

As good as the polvorones turned out, they didn’t seem to quite match up to what you would find packaged in fine wooden boxes in pastelerias throughout Spain.

That is until NOW!

I don’t want to gloat, but let me tell you, “these are spot on!”

My secret… extra virgin olive oil.

I know…. I know… I was just as surprised.  In this batch I also added pure anise extract with orange zest to the toasted flour and ground roasted almonds.  The combination of flavors was perfect.

Polvorones de Aceite – Spanish Christmas Almond Cookies Made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil




  • 500grams (4 1/2 cups) whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached all purpose flour (*important, the cup measurement is using fresh ground flour.  If using store bought flour the cups may be less since it’s denser.  For the best results, weigh the flour)
  •  250grams (1 cup) organic sugar, pulverized to powdered sugar in the blender
  • 1 cup, Star brand, California extra virgin olive oil
  • 100grams (3/4 cup) almonds, roasted
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure anise extract
  • 1 tbls orange zest


1. Heat your oven to 325F degrees.

2. Place your flour in an ovenproof bowl and toast for 20 minutes in the oven making sure to mix the flour every five minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool.

3. Roast your almonds in the oven for 20 minutes making sure to mix them up halfway through.  Once roasted, allow to cool.  Once cooled, grind them in a food processor or blender.


4. In a blender, pulverize the organic granulated sugar to a powdered sugar.


5. Zest your orange.


6. In a mixer add the toasted flour, roasted almonds, powdered sugar, and orange zest.  Mix through.

7. Once mixed, add the anise and turn the mixer onto low speed (speed 2 on my kitchenaid).  Slowly add the extra virgin olive oil.


8. Increase the speed one notch until it’s blended through (speed 3 on my kitchenaid).  Do not overmix.  The final dough should be soft and supple and not stick.

9. Place the dough on the counter and form a rectangle about a half inch thick.  I used my rolling pin.

10. You can either cut out shapes with cookie cutters or simply cut in small rectangles with a knife.

11. Raise the oven temperature to 350F.

12. Place cut cookie shapes onto a cookie sheet or pizza stone and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they start to crack on top.  *tip Once you see the cracks forming, they are done.  (I used cooled pizza stones per batch which took 22 minutes to cook through)


The results are soft, crumbly, stick to the roof of your mouth goodness.  Seriously, make a batch; take a bite; close your eyes; and travel back to Spain.

Buen Provecho!

This post is sponsored by Star Fine Foods and their new line of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

31 Responses to "Polvorones de Aceite – Spanish Christmas Almond Cookies Made With Olive Oil"
  1. Jo says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, Diana! Making them today!!

  2. Great secret! These totally look spot on. Looks perfect for afternoon tea.

  3. Jo Harrington says:

    I have been looking for a chocolate turron recipe – does anyone have one to share??

  4. Jo, you can find great recipes on youtube. They’ll be in Spanish, but I love going through the recipes there!

  5. Jo Harrington says:

    I think I found one that will work on The Winter Guest’s page. Time will tell!

  6. Gwen Roach says:

    Your blog is a new favorite! Keep it up!

  7. Emma says:

    I made these the other day and dipped the tops in melted chocolate -so delicious! The only change I made was using spelt flour instead of whole wheat. I didn’t have any wheat at the time, and the spelt worked just as well.

  8. Roger says:

    I’ve just made these and they turned out delicious. I used ground aniseed instead of extract as I couldn’t find it in the shops. I prefer this recipe, as a veggie I’m not so keen on lard =)

  9. Silvia says:

    Ummmmm…. It looks amazing! In Spain, polvorones usually have sesame seeds on top (it is not mandatory, but usual). My favorite polvorones are made with cinnamon powder and pork lard, but with olive oil are nice too!

  10. Sara says:

    These are amazing! And they were easy to make, which was a bonus :) (even without a stand mixer). My aunt lived in Spain for thirty years, so I’m always looking for Spanish recipes to try. Thank you so much!

  11. Annie Ferrer says:

    I just made these and they’re like out of the wooden box! I divided the dried ingredients in two batches and made one with cinnamon and the other one with aniseed extract and lemon zest. Now I’m trying to think of the other flavors that usually come in a Seleccion de Polvorones. I will try cacao and coconut. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. laura says:

    I am finally making this! House to myself tonight, so I get to indulge in my pregnant cravings with this mouthwatering recipe. Back to my childhood in Spain, here I come! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Gianna McMurrey says:

    I just made these for my daughter to take to school for her Spanish class. As she told me last minute and it is late at night and I didn’t want to have too much clean up on my hands……I made them entirely in the food processor. They turned out great!

  14. Janine says:

    I’ve just tried this recipe and I’m disappointed that I can’t get the dough to stick together enough to get the cut shapes onto a cookie sheet without falling apart. Perhaps I’ve added too much flour, now that I’ve read your note in this post (this would have been helpful to include in the book. Also, the addition of the anise extract is not mentioned in the book.)

  15. Jennie says:

    I’m really excited to try these. My box of E.Moreno Christmas polvorones is almost empty! I was wondering what you would think of replacing the flour with gofio (from the Canary Islands).

  16. Tara says:

    These were delicious! I had my reservations about making a cookie without butter or eggs, but the texture was perfect. Loved how each bite was melt in your mouth with the perfect amount of orange and anise.

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