The word polvo, in Spanish, means powder or dust. These gluten free polvorones, aka Mexican wedding cookies, Spanish polvorones, or walnut shortbread cookies, are not dust. However, powder or dust is a resemblance of what its crumbly texture leaves behind. The delicate texture is created by its lack of egg. Real shortbread made by master chefs are just as delicate. Learn how to make exquisite gluten free polvorones.
Note: I only made a dozen polvorones, but you may multiply the recipe as desired. They are so buttery I can’t keep them in my house or the number on my scale would continue to grow. As a matter of fact, during the photoshoot, I would break one open and then eat the cookie. I did this four times. After breaking open the fifth cookie, I stored in the freezer. Then I immediately took the leftovers to my gluten-eating neighbor. Her family enjoys my gluten free baked goods. Thank you, Linda!
Gluten Free Polvorones (Shortbread Walnut Cookies)
These gluten free polvorones are even better than traditional shortbread. The walnuts not only add richness but more flavor and a better crumb.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup Carla’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Recipe
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, or more vanilla
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for serving
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment if you have one, beat the butter until fluffy.
- Add the granulated sugar and beat until thoroughly combined.
- Slowly beat in the flour.
- Grind a third of the nuts into a powder. (You may use a coffee grinder or small food processor, but be careful to not over grind or it will turn into walnut butter. I purchase a large bag of chopped walnuts that usually contains about 1/4 cup or walnut dust at the bottom. Then I only need to chop 1/2 cup of walnuts.)
- Add the chopped nuts, ground nuts and vanilla, and almond extract if using, to the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
- Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Fold one half over just enough to cover the dough, and form it into a log. Fold up the entire thing including the sides and refrigerate for no more than 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325?F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and cut it into 12 equal portions, 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Roll the dough into balls using the palm of your hands and place on a cookie sheet, spaced equally apart.. Cut the chilled dough in half, and then cut each half into six equal pieces. Using the palm of your hands, roll each piece into a ball.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown around the bottom edges.
- Allow the cookies to cool the cookie sheet for only 7 - 10 minutes.
- While cookies cool add the confectioners' sugar to a shallow bowl. Dredge warm cookies in the confectioners' sugar. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely. (Do not place them on a plate as the bottoms will become soggy.)
- Dust the cookies with additional confectioners’ sugar just prior to serving: Place a little confectioners' sugar in a small fine mesh strainer. Place it over the cookies about 5 inches away and tap the strainer until sugar dust gently falls on the cookies.
- Freeze any leftover cookies in a freezer bag and defrost at room temperature.
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