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Polvorones: Puerto Rican Shortbread Cookies

Island Bites is a Puerto Rican cook with decades of experience in the kitchen. She's an expert in Latin American cuisine.

Polvorones are popular all over the world.

Polvorones are popular all over the world.

What Is a Polvorón?

A polvorón is a soft, dense, and crumbly (shortbread-type) cookie that is popular in Latin America, Spain, and also the Philippines. The main ingredients are flour, sugar, and lard. It is a type of mantecado, Spanish shortbreads made with manteca (lard).

Each of these countries has its own version of polvorones. The Puerto Rican version of this treat is almond flavored. It is simple, yet delicious.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Cream together butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt and extracts. Mix until combined.
  2. Add the flour slowly and mix until incorporated. The dough must be thick and manageable.
  3. With a scoop or your hands, form small balls (about 1 tbs each). Place in a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375ºF for 15 to 20 minutes or until completely baked (bottom must be golden but top must be pale). Let cool at least 10 minutes.

Other Variations:

  • Press your thumb to make an indent in each cookie before baking them, and fill with any fruit jam. Guava paste is the favorite here in the Island.
  • After cooling completely, roll them in powdered sugar.


IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on November 25, 2013:

You could use more vanilla extract instead.

alguien on November 25, 2013:

Could i eliminate the almond extract?

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on October 13, 2013:

Depends on the size you make them (a tsp or a tbs each), between 40 and 50+.

hi on October 13, 2013:

How many does this make

Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on July 05, 2013:

Love them!

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on June 04, 2013:

Hello, Derdriu! Yes, "mantecados" are a variety of sweets (shortbreads) from Spain. Polvoron is a type of mantecado. That's why, in some form, you can find similar recipes from all LatinAmerica. It's is nice to know in Brazil too.

Thanks for the comment!

Derdriu on June 04, 2013:

IslandBites, Your recipe is user-friendly in the ingredients and instructions. Also, I appreciate the information about the dent for filling afterwards with guava jam, which is what I did with amanteigados in Brazil. Already I know polvorones too from the polboroi of the Basque Country. So I'm looking forward to trying this (to be expected) delicious version of an item from Borincana cuisine.


Respectfully, and with many thanks, Derdriu

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on June 02, 2013:

Hi, peachpurple! I hope you like them. Thanks for the comment!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 02, 2013:

i love yr shortbread cookies. Definitely going to try baking some. Seriously, no eggs? Awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing and the photo itself looks so tempting to me.

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 30, 2013:

I'm glad you like the hub. Thanks for the comment!

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on May 30, 2013:

These sound wonderful. I love shortbread cookies. Your profile name and recipes are intriguing. I love to try new food. Thanks for sharing!

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 26, 2013:

Thanks for your comment, starbright!

Lucy Jones from Scandinavia on May 26, 2013:

They sound divine. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and FB shared.

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 25, 2013:

Ah, nice story! We (PH and PR (well, all Latin Countries) have a lot in common because our history. Hope you like them! Thanks.

SilentReed from Philippines on May 25, 2013:

I often use to sneak into class half a dozen colored cellophane wrapped Polvorones during my elementary school days. And surreptitiously take a bite or two when our teacher wasn't looking. This article reminded me of those earlier times. I'm from the Philippines, Polvorone is one among the many native sweet delicacy that children are fond of. Thank you for sharing your country's version of the Polvorone. I'll make a batch and tell my grandchildren "These are from Puerto Rico :)

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 24, 2013:

You're gonna like them. Thanks!

Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on May 24, 2013:

IslandBites, these definitely look worth trying! I love shortbread, sugar and variations of these cookies, so this looks like one I'll enjoy. Thanks for the recipe.

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 24, 2013:

Thank you! Hope you like it!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 24, 2013:

This recipe looks so good. Reminds me of our sugar cookie. I'm definitely going to try your recipe.

I love Puerto Rican food!

Voted UP and shared.

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 10, 2013:

Thanks, Julia!

Julia J. on May 10, 2013:

Thank you for share. It looks delicious!

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 10, 2013:


Laura L Scotty from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 10, 2013:

Good recipe. voted up.

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