Crispy Spanish Almond Cookie Recipe

Cropped image of girl making dough
Getty Images/Maskot
  • Total: 2 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 2 dozen cookies (6 servings)

Rich, crumbly polvorones or almond cookies are a delicious shortbread-style cookie, especially popular with Spaniards during the Christmas season. You can find raw almonds in the bulk section of your supermarket -- it's best to buy in larger quantities since this recipe requires about 1 pound of almonds. 

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  • 2 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/8 cup sugar
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 cups whole raw almonds
  • 3 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Grind almonds in a food processor.

  3. Cut vegetable shortening into the granulated and powdered sugars in a large mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds, almond extract and cinnamon and mix.

  4. Mix in flour one cup at a time (mixture will seem dry or crumbly). You may want to use your hand to mix together the dough as you add the last cup of flour to fully incorporate it into the dough mixture. 

  5. Some recipes call for an egg yolk to add moisture and to bind the dough a bit, but it is optional. This is the point to add the yolk if you decide to use it -- simply beat an egg yolk and mix it ​into the dough.

  6. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours.

  7. Once your dough is chilled, divide the dough into four portions. Using a portion of the dough at a time, roll or form a rope 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. Lay the rope on a cutting board and flatten the rope slightly. Slice the rope diagonally to make diamond-shaped cookies.

  8. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes. Again, these cookies will be very crumbly so once they cool slightly, carefully remove them using a spatula.

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