Mexican Sugar Cookies
These taste rather like shortbread cookies with a special anise kick. The cinnamon and orange juice also enhance their special flavor. Mexican sugar cookies are also called Polvorones and are often served at parties, fiestas, and weddings. They can also be served at home with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.
Mexican sugar cookies are rich, crumbly, and popular throughout Mexico and Spain in the festive season. They are great served either warm or cold and keep for days in a sealed container. If the dough is slightly sticky, you can sprits it with water to make it easier to handle before rolling it out.
These sugar cookies are made in Andalusia, Spain, and there are about 70 factories making them. They are popular during the holidays in Spain as well as in ex-Spanish colonies in Latin America. They are also eaten in the Philippines. Although they used to be prepared between September and January only, you can now buy them year-round, or of course you can make your own if you do not want to buy them.
So what is the origin of these tasty little bites? Some people think Mexican sugar cookies are similar to ghurayba cookies and therefore must have a Levantine or Middle Eastern origin, but this recipe is much more basic and besides one of the main ingredients in the traditional sugar cookies recipe is lard, which is pork fat, so that origin sounds very unlikely.
Heavy and soft, these cookies are lovely served with hot chocolate or coffee. Kids would enjoy them with a glass of milk. If you are trying to choose a recipe for cookies, consider what kind of cookies you wish to make. Wedding cookies might be best if you are making them for a gift, or even ring cookies for hanging on the tree, or painted cookies for the same purpose. If you want to make simple cookies which offer a fragrant aroma and soft, crumbly finish, these are ideal.
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 ½ cups shortening
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground aniseed powder
- 6 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tablespoon cream of tartar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Beat the shortening for a few minutes then add the aniseed powder and half the sugar.
- Mix well. Add the eggs, flour, cream of tartar, salt, orange juice and baking powder and blend well.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth, and then roll it to ½ inch thickness on a floured board.
- Use a cookie cutter to make shapes.
- Bake the cookies for about 6 minutes or until they are firm.
- Combine the cinnamon with the remaining sugar.
- Roll the Mexican sugar cookies in the cinnamon sugar mixture while they are warm.
Finished off with cinnamon sugar, these cookies offer a typical Mexican flavor in every bite. Whether you choose to serve them with a hot drink or a cool one is up to you, but there is no doubt these will satisfy your sweet tooth craving every time. Treat yourself to just one of these little bites or spoil yourself by having two or three. They are light enough not to spoil your appetite for dinner. These are quick and easy to prepare and they need only a few minutes in a hot oven to cook them to crisp, golden brown perfection.
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