Polvorones are a traditional Spanish shortbread cookie featuring ground almonds and spices. I made a variation called Polvorones de Aceite. Polvorones are traditionally made with pork lard, but these cookies use extra virgin olive oil. With no animal fat or eggs, this recipe also works for vegans. The texture is crumbly and bites from this cookie melt in your mouth. I flavored these cookies with anise extract and orange, but would also like to try them with cinnamon in the future.
I topped the Polvorones with powdered sugar, but you can also top them with sesame seeds.
Toasting the flour and using roasted almonds adds to the texture of the cookies.
You can cut the cookies into any shape you desire. Oval and round are the most common (about 2 inches wide).
Polvorones de Aceite (Spanish Olive Oil Almond Cookies)
Adapted from My Humble Kitchen
500 grams (4 1/2 cups) all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
100 grams (3/4 cup) roasted almonds
250 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons pure anise extract
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Powdered sugar or sesame seeds for topping
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Spread the flour in a large, rimmed baking sheet and place in preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Clean the baking sheet and line with parchment or lightly grease.
Grind the almonds in a food processor until similar in texture to the flour.
In a large bowl, combine toasted flour, ground almonds, powdered sugar, and orange zest. Add the anise extract. Slowly add the olive oil and mix just until the dough comes together.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes or a knife to cut into rectangles (about 2×1 1/2 inches). Place the cookies on prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated oven until the tops begin to form cracks, about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool on wire racks and top with powdered sugar.