Spanish Almond Cookies (Polvorones de Almendra)

Crumbly almond cookie recipe

The Spruce / Teena Agnel

  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 18 cookies (9 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
245 Calories
18g Fat
20g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18 cookies (9 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 245
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 288mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 4g
Calcium 57mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These interesting cookies are Spanish in origin, but they are also popular in Latin America. They are traditionally prepared with lard (though butter makes a good substitute) and they are especially popular at Christmas. 

Polvorones are thick, slightly sweet, tender cookies, flavored with almond and anise, then topped with powdered sugar. They are a close relative to Mexican wedding cookies, though they are shaped differently. Another distinctive characteristic of these cookies is that the flour and almond meal are toasted in the oven before preparing the cookie dough, which gives the cookies a unique and delicious flavor. 

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • Garnish: extra powdered sugar for decoration

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for crumbly almond cookies polvorones de almendra
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 F.

  3. Spread the flour and the almond meal evenly onto a baking sheet. Toast the mixture in the oven, stirring from time to time, until it is fragrant and very lightly browned. Remove the mixture from the oven and let the flour and almond meal cool completely. 

    Spread flour
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Place the softened butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until the butter and sugar are well blended. 

    Place softened butter in bowl
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. Beat butter-sugar mixture on medium speed until it is soft, light, and fluffy. 

    Beat butter
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  6. Add the salt, the anise extract, and cinnamon. Mix well. 

    Add salt
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  7. Add the toasted and cooled flour-almond mixture gradually, mixing after each addition. The mixture should come together as a crumbly dough. If it is so crumbly that it won't stick together when you squeeze a handful, add another 1 to 2 tablespoons of softened butter.

    Flour
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  8. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 to 60 minutes. 

    Wrap the cookie dough
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  9. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1 cm or thicker, if desired (some people prefer these cookies 1/2-inch thick or more). 

    Roll dough out
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  10. Cut 3-inch diameter circles of dough and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

    Cut circles
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  11. Re-roll the dough scraps and cut more cookies until you have used all of the dough.

    Re roll dough scraps
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  12. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until they start to brown lightly around the edges. Remove from the oven. 

    Bake the cookies
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  13. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies generously with powdered sugar while the cookies are still warm. 

    Sprinkle cookies
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  14. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve crumbly almond cookies polvorones de almendra
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

Tip

  • Store cookies in an airtight container (once they are cool). Cookies will keep for up to one week.