Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Treat: Polvoron

Polvoron, a soft and powdery dessert, is traditional candy from the Philippines. It's adapted from the Spanish shortbread cookie made with flour, lard or vegetable shortening, powdered sugar and cinnamon. The Philippine version is made with a combination of toasted flour, powdered milk, sugar, and melted butter. The mixture is then molded into oval or round shapes with a polvorera, a special mold or press which allows the formed sweets to be discharged easily without crumbling. Once molded, polvoron is wrapped in cellophane or parchment paper.
Did you know: Polvo is Spanish for "powder".
Polvoron is one of my favorite desserts growing up and I nostalgically remember helping my mom mold and wrap her homemade renditions. If you're new to the Philippine polvoron, it's sweet and milky and when you bite into it, the powdery dessert slowly melts into a thick pool of creamy goodness in your mouth.

You can find polvoron at Filipino markets and bakeries but I've recently learned it's super easy and cheap to make at home. There are only four main ingredients plus no baking involved! A huge time saver especially during the busy holiday season. So add polvoron to your holiday dessert tray, your family and friends who will sure to love this tasty dessert. Masarup!
Did you know: Traditionally polvoron is milk flavoured but sometimes nuts like cashews or peanuts and pinipig, toasted and flattened glutinous rice, are added.
- 1 cup plain all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar

- ½ cup powdered milk
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1. In a large skillet over low to medium heat, toast the flour until light
brown. Remove from heat and add the sugar and powdered milk. Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly in skillet.

2. Transfer flour mixture to a plate and compact mixture with polvorera or a polvoron press. Place moulded polvoron onto a flat baking tray/cookie sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. To wrap, cut tissue or soft parchment paper into 5" x 5" squares. Place polvoron piece onto the middle of the paper and fold over top and bottom sides, tuck in edges into the middle and twist.
Try this: Make chocolate polvoron by adding 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot chocolate milk powder into the mix.