Growing up in San Antonio, I ate my share of Mexican cookies. My favorites were the powdered sugar coated polverones — Mexican sugar cookies that dissolved in your mouth like dust (polvo). Today’s “Pan de Polvo” are a little different than the ones I remember. They aren’t quite as crumbly, yet have a light and almost powdery center.
The cookies have a butter & spice flavor and in this case (unlike in the peanut blossoms) the artificial butter flavor from the shortening tastes good mixed with the real butter, anise, cinnamon and almond extract. I’m sure it contributes to the texture as well, or the recipe would have just called for 2/3 cup butter. So overall these have a great flavor, great texture, and are pretty. Plus I’d say the shortening is key.
Also of note, this recipe is supposed to be Eva Longoria’s as published in InStyle Magazine. Eva lived in San Antonio and may have used the same brand of spices I did including Fiesta anise seeds. If you can’t find Fiesta brand, McCormick makes them too. Now if only I could find some anise extract around here.
Update: They moved my original link and it no longer works, so now I’m linking to Mary who re-typed the recipe on her blog.