Black Sesame Polvorones and Spring Break

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Polvorones are crumbly cookies found across Latin America, Spain and The Philippines. Some of you may know polvorones as Mexican wedding cookies. Those that are not familiar with the cookies think of them as a relative of shortbread cookies. Typically polvorones are made using flour, a fat like butter or even lard, sugar, sometimes milk, and ground nuts. Depending on the country they can be made using ground pecans, walnuts or even cashew nuts. Sometimes the polvorones are also coated in powdered sugar. Like many foods depending on the region and family the cookies can take on a different look. The commonality between them is that they are buttery, sweet and melt in your mouth.

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These polvorones you see before you are a Mexican-Asian fusion version. In fact they were inspired by my friend Maya, Foodiva’s Kitchen, whom lives in Asian. It was she who put the idea in my head to cook with black sesame seeds, an ingredient she often uses. Black sesame seeds are, as far as I know, not found in Mexican cooking but are common in Asian cuisine. Maya actually shared a couple of delicious polvoron recipes one of which included black sesame seeds. My recipe is a little different than hers but do stop by for her exotic array of polvoron flavors.

Growing up I remember polvorones being one of my mami’s (mom) favorite cookies. Though I can’t recall if they were homemade or store bought. What I do remember is that she loved- I mean really loved pecan polvorones. If you’ve ever tried them you’ll agree that they are simply one of the best cookies ever invented. Being my mother’s daughter polvorones are also a favorite cookie of mine. Actually when it comes to shortbread cookies I go weak in the knees, my self control goes out the window and I can’t stop eating those delicious buttery cookies.  Though as heavenly as they taste they are dangerous for the waistline. (Damn you butter why do you have to be like that?)

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When I make polvorones  I like tricking my brain. That is I satisfy the craving but to keep things a little healthier I make very small batches. On top of the small batches I make sure that the cookies are rolled out thinner, about half or a third, than the regular thicker cookies. Since the cookies are thinner you end up with a lot more cookies than you would with the thicker size. So you see in the end the craving and taste buds are silenced, and your waistline stays safe. Well, that is if  I you don’t eat the whole thin batch at once.

Let’s get baking.

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(**If you would like to publish my recipe on your website please quote Spicie Foodie as the recipe creator, and place a link back to the recipe.**)
Black Sesame Polvorones
Makes 10-12 thin and small cookie
1/2 cup a.p. flour
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/8 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp ground black sesame seeds (I ground up 1.5 tbsp whole seeds to get 2 tbs ground)

1. Preheat oven to 180 c or 356f and line a cookie sheet with baking paper. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and ground sesame seeds until well combined. Pour the melted butter into the bowl while stirring. Gather the crumbly dough and place on floured surface. Flatten out to an even level and use cookie cutters to cutout cookie shapes. Place on baking sheet and continue until all the dough has been used up.

Bake in center of oven for 8-10 minutes. Check after 8 minutes and do not allow cookies to brown.

See how quick and easy that was? You know you want some polvorones now, don’t you? Nod your head, Si, si.

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Now onto my Spring Break, I’m going on a small break. I’ll be back late next week and depending on how refreshed I feel I’ll have a new recipe for you either next Friday or the following Monday. I won’t be checking messages too often and mostly likely not visiting blogs, I’m hoping for a technology disconnect. See you soon and for now I leave you with this favorite sweet treat. 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Those are lovely cookies and the pictures are wonderful!

    Have a great break and come back to us refreshed.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. says

    Nancy, what a fusion of flavors!! How exciting to see these stunning polvorones this morning, I love them! The color, texture are amazing, what a hit. I will trying these SOON!! have a wonderful break, take care.

  3. says

    Snap! These are amazingly like Arab ‘ghraibeh’, which I’m posting tomorrow! I would say ‘stop by and check them out’ but you’ll be off relaxing and I wouldn’t dream of trying to get in the way of that. They’ll wait.

    I love the cross-cultural creation you’ve made here, and the lovely near-monochrome pics. Hope you have a great break! :-)

  4. says

    stunning photos, nancy. first time to your site. i came from tastespotting. your photos have completely bowled me away. i cannot say anything… i am actually dumbfounded….

  5. says

    These are the most beautiful polvorones I’ve ever seen, no doubt. I loved them as a child–in fact, they’ve been on my mind the last few months. They’re so simple but such a delight to eat. Love the black sesame seed variation.

    These images are beautiful, Nancy!

  6. says

    one of the things i love about asian cooking is the unusual colors. sesame black, matcha green, taro purple. they are so striking to a western eye. combining sesame with polvoron is genius.

  7. says

    Japanese have lots of black sesame sweets (pudding, cookies/sabres, ice cream, cake…) and I know I’d LOOOOOVE these cookies… quite dangerous around me. =) Your presentation of these cookies are stunning! I’m speechless looking at the photos… This is one of my favorite among your photos. ;-)

  8. says

    I love the addition of black sesame seeds! I’ve made similar cookies with almond meal and another with ground walnuts. I suppose we could think that the nuts make the cookie healthier???

  9. says

    These look absolutely delicious! I have not had polvorones before and whenever I see Mexican Wedding cookies, I always want to try them. This will help me get out there and do just that!

  10. says

    Si, si I want one. I’ve been wanting to try these since I saw them over at Maya’s blog. Love the contrast you put on them and I’m glad you are taking a break and I hope you are getting some rest in. Enjoy the break.
    p.s. and yes Damn that butter!
    -Gina-

  11. says

    Oh, how did I manage to miss this post? That’s what a break from technology does to you (ie. me)! :) I’m really thrilled you made these polvorones, they look gorgeous and go so well with pearls and black ribbon – and a cup of tea too, I’m sure. And making them in small batches and very thin… now that’s very, very clever, Nancy! Although I don’t think it’ll help my waistline any, mine just needs emergency rescuing, at this point, LOL!

  12. says

    Hi,

    I made and posted a recipe based on your post. I’m not that informed or knowledgeable about back links yet but I properly credited your site and recipe.

    Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Catherine,

      Thank you and glad you stopped by to let me know. Yes the recipe is simple, and it is proof that simple things can also taste great:)

  13. Hasita says

    Is that the easiest cookie recipe or what!? I just made a batch for my non-eggetarian in-laws, and needless to say, they loved it!

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