Polvorones (Mexican wedding cookies)
Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Servings: Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies
Note: Adapted from "My Sweet Mexico" by Fany Gerson
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sifted powdered sugar, for dusting
1. Clarify the butter: Cut the butter into pieces and melt in a saucepan over low heat. Skim off any foam and discard. Remove from heat and set aside until the remaining milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Gently strain the butter, making sure to discard any milk solids. This makes about 1 cup clarified butter.
2. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. In a bowl, combine the warm clarified butter with the superfine sugar and refrigerate until it solidifies, about 30 minutes.
4. Remove from the refrigerator and whip until the butter is thickened (it will look a bit like whipped cream). Stir in the flour gradually, using a spoon or spatula, then add the almond flour and vanilla and combine.
5. Knead, still in the bowl, with the palm of your hand until it starts to come together.
6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1 inch thick, making sure the crumbly dough stays together. With a cookie cutter or glass, cut the dough into 2-inch circles. They might crumble when you cut them as they are very fragile, so be gentle and patient, pressing the dough together as needed.
7. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat or parchment paper. Bake the cookies until the edges are just starting to turn color (the tops should still be pale), 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes.
8. Dust the cookies with powdered sugar and carefully transfer them from the baking sheet using an offset spatula; avoid touching them at all unless you are going to eat them.