I love the Thanksgiving Holiday. Thanksgiving is the time of year that we get to spend quality time with friends and family. We cook, we talk much, we laugh, play games, watch football and most importantly, we simply get to enjoy each others company. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful family. In my opinion, the grand feast of roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, green peas, rolls, potatoes, cranberry relish, pumpkin pie, cakes, cookies and so many other dishes is just a bonus. At our annual Thanksgiving dinner this year, I offered to bake Polvorones with Pepitas, Mint Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies, and Herb Rolls to share. I also brought an antipasto platter and a couple of bottles of prosecco :).
Polvorones are little cookies that are also called Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs, or even Butterballs. Whatever you choose to call them, they’re just delicious!
My Polvorones recipe is a twist on the traditional cookie recipe for I used toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) instead of walnuts or pecans. Many people know by now that I don’t cook with walnuts, pecans or other type of tree nut because I am allergic to them and I have other members in my family that share the same issue. Pepitas are a perfect substitute for they have a delicious nutty flavor and crunch similar to nuts. I use pepitas in recipes all the time that list nuts as an ingredient. Pesto, cookies, and granola just to name a few…
I like to give the little cookies a light dusting of powdered sugar before setting them out at the dessert table. The powdered sugar reminds me of fresh fallen snow.
The dessert table at Thanksgiving… We had quite the selection of brownies, pumpkin pie, salted caramels, apple pie, coffee cake, chocolate cookies and my little Polvorones with Pepitas. We are so fortunate to have some amazing cooks in our family. Everything that we prepare and share is made from scratch. I just love it!
My Polvorones with Pepitas recipe is slightly adapted from Epicurious (Bon Appetit,2003).
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup pepitas, toasted, coarsely ground
- a big pinch of ground cinnamon
In a medium sized bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until fluffy (I used my stand mixer). Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to mix. Slowly add the flour and pepitas. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about a half an hour or so to chill the dough. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Using a small cookie scoop (2 tsp sized) to scoop out 4 dozen little balls. Roll each ball in the palm of your hand and place 1″ apart on a silicone lined baking sheet. Bake for about 18 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and have a pale color on the top. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for about 5-7 minutes. Carefully roll each warm cookie in the powdered sugar mixture and place on racks to cool completely. Sift leftover powdered sugar over the cookies before serving. Store in an airtight container for 2 – 3 days. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.