Hazelnut Crumble Cookie Recipe - Polvorones de Avellanas

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Polvorones (polvo meaning dust in Spanish) are typical Spanish cookies, which are traditionally eaten at Christmas. They come in various flavors. When making crumbly cookies like polvorones, roasting the flour changes its consistency, and it loses some of its elasticity. The result is a perfectly crumbly, sandy shortbread-style cookie with a deeper flavor. It takes an extra 25 minutes to roast the flour, but it is well worth it.

See Also

Mantecados Recipe

Mantecados Hojaldrados de Toledo Recipe

Pestiños Recipe - Spanish Christmas Cookies from Andalucia

Ingredients
  • 6 cups (750 gr) all purpose flour
  • 5 oz (150 gr) raw, shelled, unsalted hazelnuts
  • 1.5 tsp anise seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups (307 gr) vegetable shortening (room temperature)
  • 3 cups (375 gr) powdered sugar
  • 1 shot glass anise liqueur (or 1 shot glass vodka + 1 Tsp anise extract)
  • 2 Tbsp (15 gr) ground cinnamon
  • powdered sugar for dusting

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 36


Preparation

First, roast the flour. Measure the flour, and spread out on a cookie sheet. Heat oven to 275-300F (135-150C). When oven is hot, roast the flour for 5 minutes. Remove cookie sheet and stir the flour using a table knife, and return to the oven to continue roasting. Stir every 5 minutes for a total roasting time of 25 minutes.  Flour will turn color slightly. Remove flour from oven and allow to cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 250F (120C). Spread out raw hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Remove nuts from oven and allow to cool. To remove most of the skin from the nuts, place them into a tea towel, gather up the four corners and rub between your hands.  The friction will remove much of the skin. Grind the hazelnuts until fine in a food processor.

Use a mortar and pestle to grind the anise seeds and cloves.

Place shortening and powdered sugar into a bowl and cut shortening into the sugar using a fork. Mix together the flour, ground nuts and spices in a separate bowl. Then, mix in the flour mixture to the shortening mixture a bit at a time. Pour in the anise liqueur last, and mix thoroughly. If the dough is too crumbly, use your hands to squeeze the dough.

Heat the oven to 350F (180C). The dough will be very crumbly, and a bit difficult to work with. So, scoop out dough with your hands, a bit at a time, and roll out using a rolling pin to a thickness of about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch (1-2 cm).

Use a round cookie cutter, or a small glass to cut cookies. Transfer cookies to a cookie sheet using a spatula if cookies are too crumbly.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, being careful not to burn the bottoms.

Allow cookies to cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack, using a spatula.  Dust with lots of powdered sugar.

More Polvoron Recipe


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