Polvorones are very similar to a shortbread cookie with a buttery flavor and crumbly texture topped with guava paste or sprinkles. Traditionally, these cookies are served during the Holidays and other celebrations. In addition, they are also prepared with lard and butter. This is why they are referred to as “Mantecaditos.” The Spanish term for lard is “Manteca.” Today, the Polvorones are made with vegetable shortening and butter.
We had a guava tree in Puerto Rico and made homemade guava paste. This is why I prefer the Polvorones with guava paste. These cookies will crumble in your mouth after every bite. For this reason, this is why they are called Polvorones. Since the dough is not very sweet, the guava paste provides the added sweetness to this cookie. The buttery and subtle cream cheese flavors compliment each other.
Preparing the Dough!
In a large bowl, add 4 sticks of butter and then 8 ounces of cream cheese. However, if you prefer to use vegetable shortening, then add ½ cup and omit the cream cheese.
Stir all the ingredients with a spoon until thoroughly mixed.
After mixing the cream cheese and butter, add 3 tablespoons of sugar (or to taste) and 1 teaspoon of almond extract. If vanilla extract is your preference, then add 2 teaspoons. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
We are ready to add the first cup of all-purpose flour.
Stir flour into the cream cheese mixture until a dough is formed.
The first cup of flour is completely incorporated into the cream cheese mixture.
Add the second cup of flour and continue this process until a total of 4 cups of flour are completely incorporated – one cup at a time.
We are done stirring 4 cups of flour into the cream cheese mixture.
Lastly, remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a ball. The dough is nice and smooth. Cover bowl with Saran Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. I like to refrigerate my dough because it will solidify the fat, preventing the cookies from spreading too much during baking. This is optional.
Shaping the Dough into Cookies!
Preheat oven to 350ºF. After chilling the dough for several hours, divide the chilled dough into 4 sections.
The next step is to shape the dough into 1 to 1½-inch round balls. Therefore, remove enough dough from one of the sections and roll the dough with your hands.
With the palm of your other hand, gently flattened the dough.
Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of cookie dough.
Arrange the cookies on baking pan (10.5 x 15.5 inches) lined with parchment paper at least 1-inch apart. Make sure parchment paper can be placed in the oven.
Continue this process until you fill the baking pan.
Melting the Guava Paste to Fill the Polvorones!
Once the guava paste is removed from can, cut guava paste into quarters and set aside 3 quarters. Refrigerate unused guava paste.
Cut the one quarter of guava paste into small chunks.
In a saucepan over low heat, add the chunks of guava paste and 2 tablespoons of hot water.
Once guava paste starts melting, continue stirring until the guava paste is completely melted.
After 3 minutes of simmering, the melted paste has the right consistency. If you want a thinner consistency, then add more water and continue simmering. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.
Filled several drizzlers with the melted paste after it cooled for 2 minutes.
To prevent the melted paste from solidifying, submerge the drizzler into a measuring cup filled with hot water.
Applying the Melted Guava Paste in the Center of the Polvorones!
Drizzle the melted guava paste in center of each cookie. If you don’t own a drizzler, then use a spoon.
We are done filling the center of each cookie. Bake the cookies in the oven for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
Note: At this point, you can package and freeze these cookies for future use prior to baking.
Place the Polvorones on a wire rack to cool. They look beautiful. They are lightly browned around the edges and at the bottom.
These Polvorones (Mantecaditos) are served during the Holidays and other celebrations. Enjoy these cookies with a cup of Puerto Rican coffee.
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Prepare Polvorones (Mantecaditos)!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts!
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.Print
Polvorones are very similar to a shortbread cookie with a buttery flavor and crumbly texture topped with guava paste or spinkles.
- 4 sticks of unsalted butter, soft
- 8 ounces cream cheese, soft or ½ cup of vegetable shortening
- 3 tablespoons sugar or to taste
- 1 teaspoon almond extract or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 can (1 pound 5 ounces) guava paste
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix butter and cream cheese in a bowl.
- Add the sugar and almond extract. Stir well.
- Stir 1 cup of flour at a time into cream cheese mixture until a dough is formed.
- Shape dough into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. This is optional.
- Cut dough into 4 sections. Remove enough dough from one of the sections and roll into 1 to 1½-inch round balls with your hands.
- Flattened dough with the palm of your hands and then make an indentation in center of cookie dough, using your thumb.
- Arrange cookies on baking pan (10.5 x 15.5-inches) lined with parchment paper.
- Cut guava paste into quarters and then cut one quarter into small chunks.
- In a saucepan, add the small chunks of guava paste and simmer over low heat. Stir until the guava paste is completely melted.
- Fill a drizzler with the melted guava paste if you prefer or use a spoon to fill center of each cookie.
- Add the melted guava paste in center of each cookie.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
One section of dough makes 12 to 15 polvorones, depending on size. The nutritional value is based on one section of dough.
Sometimes I prepare the dough in advance and freeze dough in a large plastic container until ready for use. Dough can be kept in freezer for at least 6 months.
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican