Orange Spice Pan de Polvo is a new variation on the ubiquitous pan de polvo recipe that every in South Texas cherishes. We can’t have a holiday gathering, wedding or baptism without our favorite local cookie, but I thought it would be fun to try a new flavor. As we have so much citrus that we harvest around the holidays, spicy orange flavored pan de polvo seemed like a natural!
Orange Spice Pan de Polvo is a New Tradition
It took several tries to get the flavor just right, but I think this version of Orange Spice Pan de Polvo has just the right amount of orange zing. I love the crunchy anise seeds also, which is reminiscent of Santa fe style bizcocho cookies. If I were to personalize this recipe, I would probably add a full teaspoon of anise seeds, while other people may opt to leave out the anise seeds all together. However, I think this recipe has the right amount – not too much anise, but enough to enhance the orange flavor.
Also, traditional pan de polvo is all about the cinnamon, which I dialed back so that the orange flavor shined in these Orange Spice Pan de Polvo. Even the dusting sugar is unadorned with cinnamon, resulting in a crispier, lighter cookie.
Use More Flour to Keep Dough from Sticking
One piece of advice when rolling out your pan de polvo is to make sure you have enough flour to keep the rolling surfaces from sticking. Flour your rolling pin and surface, and knead a little extra flour into the dough to give the dough more body. It’s hard to give an exact amount of how much extra flour to work in, as humidity in the flour changes from region to region. As long as the dough is pliable and doesn’t stick to your rolling surfaces, the resulting cookies will be fine. Also, if your cookies are too delicate to handle when transfering from your rolling surface to your baking pan, you can knead in a bit more to give the dough more resilience.
I am very interested to hear if you like this variation on traditional pan de polvo, also known as polvorones or hojarascas. Please send me your comments! I will be making this recipe again and again as we became quite hooked over the holidays. Orange Spice Pan de Polvo is our newest holiday tradition!Print
Orange Spice Pan de Polvo
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minute
- Yield: 6 dozen 1x
2 ¾ cup vegetable shortening or lard (560g)
5–6 cups all-purpose flour (700g-750g)
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (250g)
1 ½ tsp. baking powder (6g)
1 tsp. freshly grated orange zest (2g)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (2g)
½ tsp. anise seeds (1g)
½ ground cloves (1g)
1 tbsp. orange extract (15ml)
¾ cup fresh orange juice (180ml)
1 cup granulated sugar for dusting (200g)
Heat your oven to 350°F (176°C).
Place the vegetable shortening or lard in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 2 cups (250g) of the all-purpose flour and mix slowly until well combined. Add the sugar, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, anise seeds, cloves and orange extract, continuing to mix slowly until combined. Alternate adding the orange juice with 3 more cups (375g) of flour until the dough is stiff. Add a bit more flour if the dough seems sticky, about ½ cup (62g).
Remove a quarter of dough from the mixer and knead on a well-floured surface for about 30 seconds until the dough picks up enough flour so that it is no longer sticky. Using a well floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 1/4” thickness (.6cm) and cut into small cookies using a 2” wide cookie cutter (5cm).
Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are slightly golden brown. Continue to prepare all of the dough in this fashion.
Meanwhile, pour the dusting sugar into a shallow plate or casserole. Once the cookies are baked, remove them from the oven and gently coat the warm cookies with the granulated sugar. Place the cookies on a cooling rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
You can make this dough in advance of rolling out and baking. However, chilled dough is more difficult to roll out leaving you with thick, chewy cookies. For crispy, thin pan de polvo that melts in your mouth, the dough should be room temperature. Leaving the uncooked dough out on the counter overnight is fine, as long as it is covered or kept in an air-tight container.