Pan de Polvo – buttery, crumbly, melt in your mouth Mexican shortbread biscuits.
I’m always in a mood for a shortbread, especially for Christmas. It is a perfect kind of cookie – buttery, crumbly, melt in your mouth biscuit. I’ve tried a bunch of recipes from many countries and this year is time for Mexican shortbread cinnamon cookies.
Every Pan de Polvo recipe that I’ve seen uses shortening instead of butter. I’m not sure what is a reason for that, but I’m honoring the tradition. There is no sugar in the dough, insttead cookies are rolled in a mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon.
Another thing that distinguished Mexican Shortbread from other recipes is that instead off eggs or cream or milk here you use cinnamon tea to make the dough. I found that very intriguing. Some say you should not use any liquid in shortbread dough because it won’t be flaky. Well, I’ve used over 1/2 cup cinnamon tea when making Pan de Polvo and guess what – it was perfectly flaky!
Some recipe say you cook cinnamon stick together with star anise to make cinnamon tea. I’m not a fan of anise, so I left it out (used it just for decoration). If you like it, you can certainly use it.
If I made these cookies just for myself, I would use butter instead of shortening and I would add some sugar to the dough. True, it wouldn’t be authentic Pan de Polvo, but I believe it would be worth to try it.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 - 1 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup shortening or lard (285 g)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Cook cinnamon stick in water for about 5 minutes to get cinnamon tea. Let cool completely.
Put flour, shortening and baking powder in a food processor (you can do this by hand, too). Mix or pulse until you get coarse crumbs. Add cooled cinnamon tea little by little, while mixing all the time, until you get smooth dough.
Divide the dough in two parts. Roll the dough on a floured surface. Use a 6 cm cookie cutter to cut round cookies. Place them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
Bake Pan de Polvo cookies in preheated 350 F (175 C) oven for about 15 minutes.
Combine granulated sugar and ground cinnamon in a bowl. Roll Mexican shortbread cookies in this mixture while they are still hot.