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.