Puerto Rican Polvorones

Puerto Rican polvorones are slightly sweet shortbread cookies. Back home, some people call them mantecaditos, but growing up we called them polvorones, which loosely translates to “dust” in Spanish. Crumbly and a little crunchy, these cookies pair well with the guava jelly that’s dolloped on the cookie or dunked into a strong cup of café.

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This recipe is adapted from Cocina Criolla by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli and I changed up the baking method a bit based on the size of the cookies I wanted. Even though I’m not big on baking or sweets, I plan on sharing more desserts on the blog going forward to be a little bit more rounded, culinarily speaking. So let’s get baking!

Puerto Rican Polvorones

Baking time: 20-25 minutes

Yield: 2.5 dozen cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1/2 vegetable shortening, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp almond extract

2 1/4 cups AP flour 

Guava jelly, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and vegetable shortening together until it’s light and fluffy. Next, gradually add the sugar, salt, and almond extract until they’re all combined.

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Then, with the mixer off, add the flour and blend it into the butter mixture on low until it’s just combined, making sure not to overmix. The texture of the cookie batter should look and feel like wet sand.

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Then, when you’re ready to form the cookies, using a tablespoon or small scoop, portion out each cookie and roll them into small balls, placing them on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Right before putting them in the oven, use your thumb and make a small indentation in the cookie while pressing down to flatten them a bit.

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Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Then, remove the cookies from the oven and place a small spoonful of guava jelly in the indentation of the cookie and bake for another 5 minutes.

Let them cool on a wire rack or large platter and serve immediately. Any leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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¡Buen provecho!