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