These delicately spiced and oh-so-tender, Spanish shortbread cookies popped up in Latin America during colonization. I’m sure glad they are still around, they are light and flakey with a hint of cinnamon – great for having with a cup of tea. I did make a small adjustment aside from the gluten-free change – these are originally called Walnut Polvorones, but I typically don’t make anything with walnuts since my mom is allergic, so this is a nice substitution and I think it still has a nice nutty taste to it.
1-1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups of GF all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1. In a food processor process toasted pecans until very finely ground but still dry (not oily). Set aside. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high-speed for 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in milk, vanilla and cinnamon until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaning flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in the finely ground pecans. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or waxed paper and chill for about 1 hour or until dough is firm enough to shape into balls.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Shape dough into 2-inch balls. lace balls 2-1/2 inces apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Dip the bottom of a drinking glass* with a distinctive design (or a cookie press) into granulated sugar; use glass bottom to flatten balls slightly. Sprinkle tops of cookies with decroative sugar crystals.
*In only have flat bottom drinking glasses so I used the bottom of a water bottle to get my distinctive pattern. And “yes” I did wash the bottle first before stamping my cookies with it.
3. Bake for about 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
Makes about 16 cookies depending on the size you rolled the balls into.
**adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Magazine – Christmas Cookies**