Since I first tasted polvoron a long time ago, I've been wanting to make it. If you've ever eaten these before, you'll know that polvoron is a soft, dusty, dense and magnificently crumbly shortbread of Spanish origin made from powdered milk, flour, sugar and sometimes nuts. When I finally remembered, I scoured the net for a really good, simple polvoron recipe. At around the same time, I miraculously discovered a tiny polvoron maker/press at my local baking supplies store (bearing in mind that I don't reside in a Spanish-speaking country here, nor do we have much Spanish influences. Well, apart from having an army of Argentinian polo horses, if you want to be pedantic about it). Talk about the planets aligning at the same time, hey!
L-R: Dragonfruit, Matcha and Plain Polvorons
The process: Gather, press, release and presto! Then wrap in cellophane to store.
I'm thinking that this would probably be my best recipe this month...but I haven't totally decided. You'll just have to wait and see if I have more tricks up my pantry! ;-) For those in the know, every month, I try to submit to the Your Best Recipe event hosted by that crazy-talented Mexican chick in Prague, Nancy of Spicie Foodie. If you haven't checked out my YBR contribution for April yet, please click Nancy's post here and look up the others too while you're at it!
Plain Basic Recipe (approx. 1kg)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered milk (I used Anlene low fat, ultra-high calcium for geriatrics like me)
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup melted butter, cooled thoroughly
1. Sieve the flour into a thick-bottomed, non stick pan and toast on medium heat, stirring constantly, until flour turns light brown. Transfer the roasted flour in a bowl right away to prevent further cooking.
2. Add powdered milk and sugar into the mixing bowl, stir to mix. Then add the melted butter, mix with a spoon and press the flour to ensure there are no lumps.
3. Take the polvoron mold, fill it with the polvoron mixture by pressing down on the flour until it is fully filled. Press down hard to compact the mixture before releasing it from the mold. Add more butter if the mixture in not cohesive enough.
4. Carefully wrap a polvoron in cellophane or colored Japanese paper. Store in an airtight container.
5. If you want to try the different Flavorings, divide the polvoron mixture above into 4 portions (approximately 150g dry mixture each, before the addition of butter). Leave one portion plain.
To each of the other portions:
Matcha polvoron - Add 1 teaspoon matcha powder to dry ingredients, before adding 1/4 cup cooled, melted butter.
Chocolate polvoron - Melt 25g dark or milk chocolate in 1/4 cup melted butter, cool, then add to dry ingredients. You can also add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients before adding the butter.
Red dragonfruit polvoron - Scoop a tablespoonful of dragonfruit flesh, press through a small sieve into 1/4 cup melted butter. Stir until pink color is incorporated in the butter. You can also tip the seeds and remaining flesh in the sieve into the butter. Add this cooled butter mixture to the dry ingredients.