Mexican Wedding Cookies
I know these little cookies as hojarascas or pan de polvo, that is how they are called back home.
It is funny because you can find them pretty much everywhere, even on the bus on your way to work.
Back in Mexico a guy would get in the bus and yell “hojarascas, mil la bolsa” which means cookies, one thousand pesos for the bag. That is just normal if it is not a person selling cookies it could be someone else selling frozen treats.
Where I live now, these cookies are given out at weddings. they are very popular too but not like back home. If you go to a wedding your chances of getting these cookies with the cake are very high.
Just to think this pan de polvo is so easy to make…
How to make traditional Mexican wedding cookies
To make these delicious cookies you will need:
- Baking powder
We start by creaming the shortening, sugar, and cinnamon. Once it is all combined and creamed, add the eggs. I do scrape the sides of the bowl quite often. once you add the eggs the batter will look like curdled, just let it mix all together.
Time to add the rest of the dry ingredients. You can combine the flour and baking powder ahead of time if not, now is the time to put them in the mixing bowl and mix everything together.
You might notice the dough is dry and you need to press it down with your finger to form a ball. Add some milk to make it less dry.
Roll out cookies or little ball cookies
Since the cookies are made with shortening there is no need to refrigerate the dough. You can make shaped cookies or little bite-size round cookies.
If you want the bite-size round cookies, use a cookie tablespoon scoop and form the little ball with your hands. Place them in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
You want to make the heart-shaped or any shape cookies? Well, you need parchment paper, a rolling pin, two thin pieces of wood ( same thickness) to use as a thickness guide and some flour in case the dough gets sticky.
In a flat surface place the parchment paper and the thickness guides. Roll out the dough and with a small cookie cutter cut the cookies. Place them in a baking sheet lined up with parchment paper. place them apart. These “pan de polvo” cookies will not melt or bake bigger but it is good to leave room in-between each cookie.
You might like to make a vanilla cake
Sugar Dusting the cookies
On a separate bowl combine sugar and cinnamon. Once the cookies are out of the oven you need to start passing them through the cinnamon-sugar. It needs to be done right away since the warmth of the cookie helps the sugar stick to it.
You can use powdered sugar instead. The trick to do so is to wait for the cookies to cool down completely so the sugar won’t melt with the warmth of the cookie.
You can add some powdered anise or pieces of pecans to change the flavor of the cookie. My favorite is to use pecan pieces, it adds a crunchy texture and a spectacular flavor.
These cookies are also a tradition during the Christmas holidays, they are given as a little present to teachers, coworkers or friends. Have them for breakfast with your cup of coffee, you will love them.
How to store the cookies and dough.
You can store the baked cookies in the fridge for about a week or even 2.
The dough can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. I suggest you divide the dough into smaller packages and just thaw one at the time when you want to make a few cookies.
Here is a short video on how to make them.
Download the recipe PDF by clicking here.
Mexican Wedding Cookies / Pan de Polvo
These are the Mexican shortbread cookies.
- 2.2 lbs All purpose flour
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1.1 lb vegetable shortening about 1 lb
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp Cinnamon powder
In a bowl cream the vegetable shortening and sugar.
Add the salt, baking powder cinnamon and vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix together.
Mix in the eggs.
Add the flour to form the dough.
* If you are adding pecan pieces, add them now.
Add milk, start by adding 2 tbsp. Add more as needed until the dough can formed in a ball.
Make round using a tablespoon scooper and form them between your hands.
Place them in a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for 17 minutes.
Once baked get them out of the oven and toss them in the sugar-cinnamon mix. Place in a plate to let them cool completely.
*If using powdered sugar, let them cool down completely before tossing them in the sugar.