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 cups powdered milk
1 1/2 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.)
This recipe has been adapted from an old sweetened fruit salad recipe. While the original recipe required slices of various types of fruits, this recipe omitted that and, instead, used only gelatin cubes in colours associated with the mermaid party theme. As well as shredded young coconut, you may also add cooked tapioca pearls (the larger sized ones, almost similar in size to the gelatin cubes) to this sweet salad to balance its sweetness, and for that additional “mermaid” appeal.
1 packet green gelatin powder (any flavour)
1 packet blue gelatin powder (any flavour)
1 packet purple gelatin powder (any flavour)
Shredded young coconut (optional)
In separate bowls, prepare the gelatin (separately, by colour) according to packet instructions, using the boiling water, then cold water. (For firmer gelatin, slightly reduce the amount of water to be added to each bowl of gelatin powder.) Chill gelatin until completely set.
Slice gelatin into small cubes. Place all the gelatin cubes in a large bowl. Add cream and shredded young coconut (optional). Add condensed milk, until desired sweetness is achieved. Mix well. Scoop into small bowls to serve.
Love the mermaid themed label card used in the photo? Get it HERE.
This recipe was derived from my Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta recipe but tweaked especially for the Star Wars themed party that we had. I didn’t make the chocolate layer because of time constraints, but you are welcome to include it if you want. Here is how I did my Bantha Milk Pudding dish for hubby’s Star Wars themed party:
1/2 cup cold water
2 packs unflavoured gelatin
1 can condensed milk
2 cups cream
Few drops of blue food coloring
Chocolate syrup (optional)
2 Oreo biscuits (optional)
Melt gelatin in cold water. Set aside. Mix cream and condensed milk in a saucepan and cook over low heat until hot. Add the melted gelatin and stir until well blended (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from the stove and continue stirring to cool down the mixture. Gradually add a few drops of food coloring until desired color is achieved. Stir well until color is evenly distributed.
Transfer the mixture into a mold. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
To serve, turn the pudding upside down on a serving platter. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top and position the Oreo biscuits on the top center.
With Easter just around the corner, it’s time to finalize all the plans, whether you’re planning a family get-together at home, or going to your friends’ home for a big luncheon. Naturally, we’d love to bring an Easter-y dish to these events, so here are some ideas for you, in case you need them:
The Dijon-styled mustard makes this Baked Salmon Fillets special. The bread crumbs and butter toppings give a perfect palatable crunch in every bite.
If you don’t want to break your diet, have some Creamy Spring Peas with Pancetta on your Easter table. It’s a totally guilt-free meal!
Who would not want a tasty Deviled Egg on holidays? This recipe has deeper meaning when prepared during Easter because of its egg ingredient. The Deviled Egg recipe is ideal on big gatherings, such as Easter.
Make your Easter a tutti-fruity holiday with this Edible Easter Egg Tart. With cream cheese and sugar cookies, this egg-shaped Easter Egg Tart will be an excellent dessert for your loved ones.
This Delicious Egg Salad Sandwich is ideal for moms who want a yummy snack and want it quick. With 35 minutes of your time, this Easter snack will be ready to be served.
This large Easter ham can make a promising dinner with the use of tangerine juice and freshly peeled carrots. One can savour its goodness in every chunk!
Make your Easter delightful with these fluffy hot buns on your table!
Create happy Easter moments in your home with this fruity Meringue Wreath!
If you’re a cheese lover, then this Mouse’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe will best suit your taste. It’s an easy-to-prepare meal for the whole family.
Twisted into a beautiful floral shape, this Easter Blossom bread is perfect for someone who loves a rich, tasty dough stuffed with sweet jam.
Using rosemary sprigs, lemon zest, butter, and leaf parsley, this Saddle of Lamb recipe will surely be a star during your Easter dinner.
The Scalloped Potatoes recipe is simple and easy to make. With 50 minutes of your time, you can already have a delectable side dish ready to serve.
Bring a unique twist on your potatoes during Easter by making this Caramelized Onion Twice-Baked Potatoes. It’s an ideal side dish to be paired with your roasted lamb meat.
To produce golden snitches in food form for hubby’s Harry Potter party, I didn’t want to do what others have done, which was to create round cakes (cake pops) and cover the snitches with artificially coloured icing to make them look like snitches. Besides, I had too much on my plate then to bother intricately decorating each cake pop. I just wanted something that was relatively easy to make.
Then I recalled a homemade sweet called Yema. I knew a few people whose mums used to make these sweets and get them to sell these to other kids at school. The brightness or dullness of this dish’s natural yellow colour depends on the ingredients you use and their proportions. Some can be quite pale, while others darker and almost brownish. In addition, you can also coat the yema balls with raw sugar or glaze them with caramelized sugar (which is a bit more tricky).
For the duration of hubby’s Harry Potter party, I called them not yema, but Golden Snitches. Here’s the recipe I used:
10 egg yolks
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, or zest
Raw sugar for coating
In a non-stick pan, combine egg yolks, condensed milk and lemon until well blended. Place pan on stove, over low heat, and stir constantly until thick enough to be formed into small balls. It is important to keep on stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan while cooking to avoid burning parts of it.
Remove from heat and let the mixture cool. When cool enough to handle, shape them into small balls, about an inch in diameter, which seems to be just a good size for a snitch. Roll each ball in raw sugar.
Arrange in a serving tray with enough spaces in between the snitches so they don’t look too crowded when you add the wings.
I made the wings days in advance so they’re ready to add to the golden snitches on the day of the party. I used toothpicks, aluminum foil and double-sided tape to make them, while seated on the couch, also watching an action movie with the hubby. 🙂
Near the end of my senior year in high school, a good friend of mine invited me to her birthday party. Actually, she invited probably half of the whole class, which was probably around 25 kids or so. At her party, I came across this super delicious milk and chocolate dessert. For me at that time, it was just about the most delicious dessert I’ve ever tasted. Right there and then, I asked her for the recipe of the dessert, which was prepared by either a family member or a friend of hers. The next week, she gave it to me.
Unfortunately, at 16, I was really more of the eating type and not the cooking type of a person. So even though I was honestly very impressed with the dessert and genuinely wanted a copy of the recipe, also like a real non-cooker, I kept the recipe but never tried making it. An embarrassing admission, I know.
Recently, while being best friends with Mr. Google, I came across an image of that very dessert. Now that I and my husband share an almost similar passion for cooking, I just have to make this dish. I’m glad I did. It turned out to be quite a success and tasted just as amazing as that dessert at my friend’s birthday party. A few friends of mine felt a bit bad that I did not invite them over to have some.
After tweaking the recipe enough to make it mine without deviating too much from the flavour, I’m sharing it with you so you too might enjoy it. My high school friend had called it by an odd name which, nowadays, might be misunderstood as offensive. For that reason, I’ll go with the basics and call this dish Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta.
MILK CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA
2 packs unflavoured gelatin
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup raw sugar
(White Milk Layer)
1 cup cold water
2 packs unflavoured gelatin
1 can condensed milk
2 1/2 cups cream
In a small bowl, melt 2 packs of gelatin in half cup of cold water. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder and 1/2 cup hot water thoroughly. Set aside. Heat evaporated milk in a saucepan on low heat and stir in sugar until well dissolved. Blend in the melted cocoa. Add the gelatin mixture and stir well until dissolved. Let this mixture cool by stirring continuously, before transferring to a deep tray. Refrigerate for at least two hours to make sure it has completely set.
Prepare the white milk layer while the chocolate layer sets in the fridge. To make the white milk layer, melt 2 packs of gelatin in half cup cold water. Set aside. Mix cream and condensed milk in a saucepan and cook over low heat until hot. Add the melted gelatin and stir until well blended (approx. 10 minutes). Remove from the stove and continue stirring to cool down the mixture. (It is very important that this mixture has completely cooled down before adding it to the chocolate layer, or else you’ll run the risk of melting and destroying the chocolate layer.)
Take the tray of chocolate layer out of the fridge. Using a ladle or a cup, gradually and carefully transfer the white milk mixture over the solid chocolate layer on the tray. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
To serve, turn the panna cotta upside down on a serving platter. If you like, you can also drizzle chocolate syrup and sprinkle chocolate shavings on top.
Instead of chocolate shavings, you can also garnish with strawberry slices, just like these two that I made for a friend’s baby shower party.
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup raw sugar
8 teaspoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
A pinch of salt
65g unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners/papers.
Combine flours, sugar, cocoa, bicarb soda and salt in a large bowl and mix very well. Add butter, milk and vanilla, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Spoon mixture into the lined cupcake tray, dividing the mixture evenly. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack, before adding your favourite icing or other decors.
This dish is one of our favourites. It’s quite easy and quick to prepare, and it’s mostly veggies in it…except for the prawns. This is a lovely soup to pair with hot Jasmine rice on a winter evening, but really, you can enjoy this dish at anytime of the year.
1 small brown onion, chopped
1 small can (125g) corn kernels
1 small can (165mL) premium coconut milk
6 pcs okras, sliced to 1-inch lengths
1 can (225g) bamboo shoot slices
12 – 18 pcs prawns
Sliced crabs (or 1 tsp red crab paste)
Jute leaves (cos lettuce may also be used as substitute)
3 cups water
Salt, sugar and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper, ground (optional)
In a saucepan, boil prawns and crabs in water with onions until they’re red. Add bamboo shoots and corn. Boil for 2 minutes. Add okras. Stir in coconut milk and cook for about 3 minutes or until the soup is slimy from the okra. Add jute leaves and season. Simmer for one minute. Serve hot with rice.
Olive oil (for greasing) 250 g spreadable cream cheese
2 (300g) carrots, finely grated 1/3 c icing sugar
1 c self raising flour 1/2 t vanilla essence
1/2 c plain flour
1 t bicarbonate soda
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2/3 c brown sugar
3/4 c organic olive oil
1/2 c maple syrup
1 t vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, or 150C if using a fan-force oven. Lightly grease a cake pan with oil and line with baking paper.
Sift flours, bicarb soda and cinnamon in a bowl.
In another bowl, whisk brown sugar, oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots.
Place the mixture into the pan and bake for approximately 55 minutes. Then, let cool in the pan for a few minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, combine the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl, using a wooden spoon, until well mixed. Spread the icing over the cake.