Polvorones: Spanish Almond Cookies

Polvorones cookies

The Spruce

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 16 Cookies (8 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
328 Calories
23g Fat
29g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16 Cookies (8 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 328
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 179mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 4g
Calcium 64mg 5%
*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.)

Polvorones are traditional Spanish Christmas cookies that are flavored with almonds and are crumbly in texture. Polvo in Spanish means "powder" or "dust," as these cookies will crumble to a dust-like consistency in your hand or mouth. This recipe, however, is softer and less crispy than other polvorones recipes.

Polvorones are a kind of mantecado, a variety of Spanish shortbread. Traditionally, these cookies were prepared from September to January only, but are now available year-round. They have quite a history--during the Spanish Inquisition, the officials decreed that polvorones were to be made with pork fat as a way to detect if there were secret Muslims or Jews in the regions of Southern Spain.

Today, polvorones recipes often replace the pork fat with shortening or butter or margarine. This cookie calls for toasting the flour in the oven first, which creates a unique and distinctive flavor.


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 5 ounces butter (or margarine)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for polvorones cookies
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  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  3. Measure and pour flour out onto a cookie sheet.

    Measure flour
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  4. Place in oven and "toast" the flour. Occasionally move the flour around on the sheet so that it toasts evenly. Leave in oven for about 8 minutes. Remove and set aside.

    Place in oven
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  5. Place raw almonds on another cookie sheet. Toast the almonds until they change color just slightly - about 8 to 10 minutes.

    Place raw almonds on sheet
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  6. Remove and place almonds into a food processor. Process almonds until they are finely ground.

    Put almonds in a food processor
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  7. Reduce oven temperature to 250 F.

  8. Cream butter, sugar, and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl.

    Cream butter, sugar, cinnamon
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  9. Add the flour and finely ground almonds and continue mixing. The dough will be very crumbly.

    Add the flour
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  10. Place a sheet of waxed paper on a cutting board or another flat work surface. Press the dough together to form a ball. Then press the dough onto the waxed paper.

    Place a sheet of waxed paper on a cutting board
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  11. Carefully flatten it down to about 1/2-inch. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.

    Carefully flatten cookie
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  12. Use a small spatula to carefully move the cookies from the waxed paper to a cookie sheet for baking since the dough is dry and flakey.

    Cookies on sheet
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  13. Bake cookies for 25 to 30 minutes.

    Cookies on the sheet
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  14. Allow cookies to cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheets. Take special care not to break them.

    Allow cookies to cool
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  15. Serve and enjoy!