(anise-flavored shrotbread cookies)

Polvorones.- from the spanish word polvo, or dust-, are so named because they are stremely delicate and crumble easily. That is why they are often sold individually wrapped in tissue paper in pastry shops. Traditionally polvorones are made with lard, but butter also produces a wonderfully short cookie.

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar plus about 1 cup for dusting
1 eggs yolk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons brandy
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened

In a cup, stir together 1 tablespoon sugar egg yolk, lemon juice, and brandy until smooth. In a large bowl, combine flour with the anise, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt.

In a electric mixer, cream the butter well. Beat in the egg yolk mixture, then beat in half of the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, gradually incorporate remaining flour mixture.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Roll out the dought to about 3/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Using a 3-inch fluted-edge round cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet about 30 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Let cool about 2 minutes. Sift sugar onto a sheet of waxed paper. Dredge cookies in sugar. Arrange cookies on a serving plate and sut with remaining sugar. Makes 10 to 12 cookies.

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