There's about a billion things that I'm terrible at. One of these is buying presents for other people. So when I got an invitation from a friend to her Spanish themed 18th party, my first reaction was not ‘oh no, what am I going to wear?’ by rather, ‘what am I going to get her??’ Being the terrible last minute person I am (although this is true of most teens I know) I left it until two days before the party to tell my mum I needed to buy a present for her. Needless to say, I was stuck for ideas.
Between us, we came up with a handful of ideas ideas but I just couldn’t see her liking any of those. No, that was too girly, that was out of budget etc. etc. Completely out of ideas, I bought next ‘nice’ and present-y thing I could find at the shops and decided to do what I do best, and bake something for her as well (since I figured that everyone likes to eat…right?). Since it was a Spanish party, I searched up some Spanish food and somehow ended up deciding on making polvorones.
I was quite nervous as this was the first time I’d given any food items as a gift and I’d never tried this recipe before. Which for me, is a terribly risky thing as most of my baking disasters have been on things which are supposedly easy and hard to not succeed. Take for example, the first time I made chocolate chip cookies (keep in mind this was very early in my baking days). I tried a recipe (from all recipes) which had a 5 star rating (and had been reviewed about a thousand times) thinking that it could not go wrong- but they turned out sickenly sweet and as hard as rocks. I ate about three before throwing the whole batch out. I was sure that it was my fault they turned out so terrible so a week later I tried again but to no avail. I’d decreased the sugar and mixed it for longer but they still had a funny texture and tasted terrible. The third time I used a recipe from a book I had and they turned out perfect. Well I guess it shows that a recipe that works for a thousand other people might not work for you. Or that I’m terrible at following recipes =] (which is more likely).
This recipe is also from allrecipes, and my choc-chip cookie incident was the reason I was slightly hesitant to try this. One commenter suggested that replacing the butter with lard would make it taste more like Spanish polvorones, which was perfect because I had half a block of lard left over from my egg custard tarts. As terrible as it would be for my friend’s health (and partly for mine), I thought that it was worth it, as I wanted the cookies to taste really good.
The cookies were really simple (another reason I chose it) but I found I had to tinker with the ingredients a little bit to get a cookie like dough. I increased the flour by a lot because the dough didn’t look dough-ey enough and subsequently increased the sugar and cinnamon because I didn’t want it to loose flavour. I increased the sugar by quite a bit because I tasted the dough and it didn’t taste too sweet, although that may have been because of the strong lard taste. I only coated them lightly with sugar just in case they became too sweet. The sugar melted into the cookie which was quite cool (and the oven fan didn’t blow it all off, as I had feared…) and when I coated it with sugar afterwards, when they were still warm, the sugar half melted and stuck on which was also quite cool.
The batter didn’t yield too many cookies so I couldn’t taste test too many (hehe…) and I ended up sharing two cookies between my family. As I’d expected, the cookies were very soft, crumbly and melted in your mouth, which isn’t really my type of cookie (I’m more the crunchy, choc chip cookie girl) So I guess I made them right =]
*finger crossed the birthday girl liked them*
Recipe from allrecipes
• 1 cup butter (226.8g)
• 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture to form a stiff dough. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Mix together 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; roll balls in cinnamon mixture.
3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in preheated oven, or until nicely browned. Cool cookies on wire racks.