See that cup full of cloud-like little balls? They are cookies, and they can be addictive. So beware.
Actually I have a fun story about them and how I could not stop popping them the day after my wedding.
Not sure about other Latin American countries, where these cookies are so, so popular, but in the Dominican Republic, polvorones are always, yes always served at weddings (that might be an exaggeration, so let’s just say most weddings, or at least every single wedding I’ve been to. True story and I won’t complain). They are so delicate, and in a way sophisticated in it’s crumbly, rich, and buttery texture that they are the ideal candidate to serve at formal functions like weddings. For my wedding, which it was held in the Dominican Republic, we served the most amazing cake ( you’ve probably heard Dominican cakes are the best in the world right? If not, you’ve been informed. They are.). Aside from Dominican cakes being so awesome, the one served at my wedding was particularly extra special, made by the best bakery, with the most exquisite filling, and all the bells and whistles a cake could have. But, the only reason I know it was that good, is because I was told so. Yup, I completely forgot to have cake at my wedding!!!
I really can’t explain what happened, but I am sure there was dancing involved; you know, priorities. So where do polvorones fit in all of this? As a way to compensate for not having cake, the next day I grabbed a huge bag of polvorones and I stuffed my face on my way to the honey moon. Let’s just say my belly was happy. And yours will to if you make these polvorones.
Traditionally, polvorones are only made with flour, butter and sugar, but it’s very common to see them made with almonds too. A newer trend is to fill them, but so far I’ve only seen them filled with chocolate. Which is why for my most recent polvorones baking adventure I decided to try something different and unheard of. I filled them with Dulce de Leche, and oh boy, oh boy! No questions now why these can be so addictive.
I think one of the reasons why I’ve never seen them filled with Dulce de Leche, may be because Dulce de Leche is sticky and tricky to stuff in the case of polvorones. A solution I found to make this possible, was to freeze dollops of Dulce de Leche ahead of time. I first thought a few hours in the freezer would do it, and they actually did not freeze. I then kept them in the freezer overnight and they where not frozen either. But…
Even thou my theory was not fully proven, popping the Dulce de Leche in the freezer did help greatly as the outer shell of the dollops became harder and easier to place in the center of the polvorones dough. So, I highly recommend this step.
As you can see I take a good base of the polvorones dough before stuffing them with the dulce de leche. This will help a lot, and will avoid having the Dulce de Leche ooze completely out when baking.
I made a huge batch of these and gave them away as edible holiday presents. I actually even mailed out a few as I participated in this years Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, an initiative that not only brings the food blogger community together but also supports Cookies For Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit that fights against pediatric cancer.
But of course I kept some for myself. Eating these always take me back to my wedding day, and even though I did not have cake, I will cherish polvorones forever.
Ooooo look at that Dulce de Leche filling. Are you convinced now? Go, go make them. They are super, super easy.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (more for coating)
- 1 cup almonds, small chopped
- 1 dash salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), soften
- ½ cup dulce de leche
- Combine flour, sugar, almonds, and salt together.
- Add vanilla and butter.
- Mix well using your hands or fork.
- Take about 1 tablespoon of the dough and form a base in the pal of your hand. Place dulce de leche in the center, and cover it completely with the polvorones dough, forming a ball.
- Place the balls on a greased cooking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 F.
- Once they are out of the oven covered them, while hot, in powdered sugar.
- TIP: form ½ teaspoon dollops of dulce de leche and cool in freezer for a few hours or overnight so these portions are easier to handle while stuffing the polvorones.