Pecan Shortbread Cookies (Polvorones)
Finely ground pecans and canela—a type of cinnamon—flavor these delicate shortbread cookies, a popular treat all over Mexico.
Yield: makes about 40 cookies
- 3⁄4 cup pecans
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, preferably canela (available at ranchogordo.com)
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract, preferably Mexican
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- Combine pecans and 1⁄4 cup sugar in food processor, and process until very finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add remaining sugar along with flour, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse until evenly incorporated. Add butter and vanilla, and process until dough just comes together and forms a ball. Transfer ball to lightly floured work surface, and form into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside.
- Heat oven to 350°. Transfer dough to work surface, and using a rolling pin, roll dough until 1⁄2" thick. Using a 1 1⁄4" round cutter, cut out cookies and transfer to parchment paper—lined baking sheets, spacing them 2" apart. Reroll dough scraps and cut out more cookies; transfer to the baking sheet. Chill cookies for 30 minutes. Bake, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking, until lightly browned and set, about 15–18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, and then place in bowl of confectioners' sugar; toss to coat evenly in sugar and serve.