Spanish polvorones recipe: the quintessential Christmas treat

Polvorones are a type of light and crumbly shortbread very typical in Spain during Christmas. In Spanish, polvo means “dust”, which explains why polvorones have this name; if you put one of these cookies in your mouth, it will crumble into what feels like dust. However, polvorones were born as a way of detecting whether there were Muslims or Jews hiding in the regions of Southern Spain. Since they were made with pork lard, they could not eat them because of their faith.

Nowadays they are the sweet par excellence during Christmas. People tend to buy them, but in this case we are going to learn how to make them ourselves. Furthermore, they are perfect to make them with your kids, as they do not require much time or many ingredients. They are very easy to prepare. Shall we start?

Ingredients for the polvorones recipe:

  • 250 g of plain flour
  • 60 g of ground almonds
  • 125 g of pork lard
  • 110 g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar to decorate


  1. First put the flour on a baking tray to toast it. Preheat the oven at 160˚C, heat up and down, and place the tray in for at least 15 minutes, until a slight toasted colour is evident. Stir from time to time and when it is done, take it out and let it cool down.
  2. The next step is to make our ground almonds. First toast the almonds at the same temperature as the flour, 8-10 minutes, just enough to give them some colour. Keep an eye on them so that they do not get burnt.
    Then, let the almonds cool down and grind them when they are cold.
  3. Sieve the toasted flour and add the ground almond, icing sugar, lard, cinnamon and salt. Mix all these ingredients in a bowl and knead until the dough is smooth; but it should hardly stick to your fingers. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave it to rest for half an hour.
  4. Lightly flour the surface where you will prepare your polvorones and roll out the dough with a rolling pin, up to a thickness of 1-1.5 cm. Cut out circles or ovals with a cookie cutter or even a glass of wine, of about 3.5-4 cm, and place them on baking paper.
  5. Put the polvorones on the baking tray and bake them at 200ºC for about 12 minutes. After 10 minutes you must keep an eye on them because once they have been cooked, they immediately toast and turn bitter. The time depends on the oven, so you have to be careful. Take them out as soon as you see that the edges start to get toasty.
  6. Put them on a rack with the same baking paper, as they are very fragile when they are hot. Let them cool down completely and then sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar. You can wrap them in paper if you want.

About the author