Polvorón is a Spanish shortbread made mainly from flour, sugar, milk, and nuts. Lard or butter is used to help hold the powder mixture together. It may be baked or chilled. The name of this treat came from the Spanish word polvo, which means powder.
Because the flour is first toasted before it is mixed with the rest of the ingredients, the entire crumbly powder mixture is a perfect beach sand look-alike. If you have little buckets of various sizes, using Option 1 below (chilled, not baked), you can create a “sandcastle”, a splendid feature at your next beach or mermaid themed party. You can also use a round or oblong cookie cutter or molder to mold them into little cookies, then wrap each with coloured tissue paper or cello.
Basic Polvorón Recipe
4 cups plain flour
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
2 cups raw sugar
1 1/8 cups softened butter
Toast flour on a pan over medium heat, stirring often to make sure it doesn’t get burnt, until the colour of the flour turns into light brown. Let it cool before transferring into a mixing bowl. Add powdered milk and sugar and mix well, using a wire whisk.
Add butter and, using your clean hands, combine the mixture thoroughly. Let cool for about 10 minutes, so the butter solidifies a bit.
To mold and wrap polvorón, have several pieces of tissue paper or cello ready, cut into 6″ x 6″ squares. On a square, place your cookie cutter in the very center. Spoon the mixture into the cookie cutter, then push the mixture in with your fingers or back of the spoon to compact it. Add more powder mixture into the cookie cutter until it reaches your desired thickness when compacted. The polvorón should be compacted enough so it doesn’t collapse when you carefully remove the cookie cutter. After removing the cookie cutter, carefully wrap the polvorón by securing the ends. Chill before serving. (This option works best for a beach sand-imitation dish at your beach themed party.)
Use the same technique in compacting them into round or oblong pieces using the cookie cutter or mold, but instead of wrapping each individually, place them on baking sheets (lined with paper) and bake them at 180ºC/350ºF for approximately 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. (Sprinkle icing sugar on top and this option is perfect for serving them at Christmas.)