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Polvorones Rosas (or Big Pink Mexican Cookies)

Wow, the week I have had.  NOTHING sweet had been working out for me.  I made these chocolate cookies with marshmallows baked inside and I didn’t make enough that didn’t burst open and/or I felt were baked long enough to post a recipe.  I did use half a large marshmallow, though, so if I can get the cookie to work with a mini marshmallow then I will post it.

Earlier in the week, I tried to adapt a different cookie recipe and it just wasn’t right.  Then over the weekend I tried to make candy (OMG, caramel is tough!) twice and once, I cooked it too long (my friend and I chewing for days, pretty funny!) and the next time, not quite enough.  Geesh!  So I figured I would make something that I have made before but had not posted.  I have made these cookies before but I still wanted to see if I could tweak the recipe I used before or find another.  Then after hours of research on the internet (seriously, hours because polvorones can refer to Mexican wedding cookies/cinnamon cookies/cookies with ground nuts, a Filipino candy, or a Spanish Christmas cookie) I had just narrowed down the recipes I was considering, when I came upon what I felt was the meanest blog post ever.  I will not name the blogger but the whole point of the post was to complain about some of the cookies I grew up eating.  She even goes so far as to broadly say that “the Mexicans make shitty cookies”.

Ready for the oven!

Just stab me in my heart!  She was not picking out one particular kind of cookie, either, in the post she was reviewing about five.  To be fair, the picture in her post does not contain a big pink cookie and yes, I do kind of get what she says.  Yup, depending on the panaderia (Mexican bakery) you go to, sometimes you can taste the “Crisco, sugar and flour,” but then stop going to that panaderia!  She goes on to dismiss all Mexican bakery cookies as “clownish” although she does give credit to churros and tres leches cakes as being delightful Mexican sweets.  My husband says that she is entitled to her opinion and I that I should calm down.  I guess he is right.  I do have one last point, though, nowhere in her post does she mention Mexican hot chocolate.  She was eating her cookies all wrong!  You need a nice mug of Ibarra or Abuelita to dip them in!  Everyone knows that.  

Overall, I got the feeling that she thinks the cookies are just too simple to be taken seriously.  Seriously, I made these cookies three times with what I felt were completely different results.  The first batch, I made too thin and they tasted too buttery but they were nice and soft.  The second time I decreased the butter a bit and tried to make them without a mixer, using only my hands (something I had seen on youtube), adding the sugar last.  Those cookies, I thought, came out too tough.  My husband liked them, he doesn’t like how the bakery cookies tend to fall apart, I kinda do.  The third time, I went back to the first recipe and the first method but made sure to not make the cookies too thin.  That seemed to do the trick.  They didn’t taste too buttery and they were soft and they didn’t fall apart easily but they probably would if dipped in chocolate.  That is exactly what I was going for.  I was lucky that the recipe only makes a dozen cookies, otherwise I would be in big trouble.

Sprinkled with sugar just out of the oven.

O geez, my GeekyLink for the week is SO awesome and so totally obscure.  Again, I must reference Kevin Smith and his SModcast Internet Radio network.  I guess a few months ago Walt Flanagan, from the Tell ‘Em Steve Dave Podcast, challenged this band to put music to a song he wrote.  The result is an AWESOME song called “I Sell Comics” by Courage My Love.  I figure it references comics so it qualifies as a GeekyLink.  I have been listening to this song over and over all week.

Big Pink Mexican Cookies

adapted from Cake Central


1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco), yup it is in here but you are not supposed to taste it

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Red food color

2 cups all purpose flour

Granulated sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350°

Beat shortening, butter and powdered sugar together until creamy.

Add vanilla and salt and mix well.

Add food coloring to desired color and mix well.

Add flour and mix until combined but do not overmix.

Scoop into two inch balls (about 2 tablespoons).  I used my 1 tablespoon cookie scoop and topped them one on top of the other like a double scoop of ice cream then rounded the two in my hands and placed it on the cookie sheet.

Flatten the cookie with the palm of your hand and make sure the cookies are at least 3 inches apart.  The thickness is up to you.  I would go about 1/2 an inch or so, maybe slightly less, but a 1/4 inch is too thin.

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

After removing them from the oven, sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Enjoy!


About NerdyBaker

My name is Celina. I am a wife and mother of three. I love to bake, go to the movies, read when I can and I am kind of a great big nerd. Just don't tell my husband.

33 responses »

  1. Nicole Masellis

    Does this resemble the top of a concha by any chance?

    • Resemble in texture you mean? Possibly. I am not sure but next time I make conchas I may just try it. It would obviously need to be much thinner before being placed on top of the dough and being scored than I have here for the cookies

  2. That woman who made that comment about Mexican cookies being terrible clearly doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I’m Mexican, and I was raised eating all kinds of Mexican pastries, so believe me, that woman is nuts. By the way, these polverones rosas were delicious. Me and my sister-in-law tried them on my step nephews, my youngest nephews, and two of my brothers, and they fell in love with them.

  3. Hey I have a question for you about these cookies. I could swear the pink cookies we get from the Mexican bakery down the street from our house have a strawberry flavor. I’d been looking all over the Internet for a recipe for Mexican strawberry sugar cookies and couldn’t find anything close. I dropped the strawberry from the description and found your recipe (but no mention of strawberry). Have you ever made these cookies or bought any that had a strawberry flavor?

    • No, sorry. I don’t think I’ve had any with a strawberry flavor. But maybe try an extract or I like pulverized dried strawberries in strawberry frosting, the dough won’t get too wet with either.

  4. I’m going to try these BUT before I do….. Are you sure it’s not Manteca ? I’m sure it is Sno-cap Lard or Arrmour Lard. I just don’t see my local panerderias using butter…, I just can’t imagine that.
    I’m going to try lard and a smidgen of almond and Mexican vanilla.



  5. Just made these for the first time, different than my local panadería. Was hoping for something crispier, and I think the butter flavor is throwing me off. Not bad though, just not what I was hoping for.

  6. I realy like Mexican cookies. I am not hisbanic but I grew up eating them living as a child in LA. I had not found a recipe that works since I live in Kansas and there are no bakeries I know of in this area. I thought maybe they used lard. When I was in Germany the Germans complained about the American cookies at the bake sales we had. It goes back to what you are used to I suppose but she should had been nice.

  7. Does this recipe not use an egg??

  8. OMG, thank you! I love these and buy them from the local panaderia but I’ve always been shy about asking what they were called (“Hi, can you tell me what these are so I can Google the recipe and have my cookie fix without getting out of my pajama pants?”). I can’t wait to make these.

  9. Pingback: Recipe: Polvorones Rosas | ddswife's Blog

  10. Too bad about the blogger who doesn’t like Mexican cookies. I was first introduced to them in my Beginning Spanish class in college years ago and I have in turn been obsessed with getting my kids on the bandwagon so that I don’t look so greedy at the panaderia, lol. Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely try it!

  11. I have seen some recipes that call for almond extract or ground almonds. Could this be whats missing? I do want the crumb texture, so I might try to make this using a little more sugar and flour like you said. Thanks 🙂

  12. Growing up in LA I remember this cookie! I would get one giant pink cookie & one giant yellow cookie. I am a military wife now. I’ve moved around quite a bit & this cookie was something I could “never” find in Mexican bakeries. I always wanted to make them… I can. I am back in CA & have found these cookies here but I would like to make my own. So glad I found this recipe (via Pinterest)!!

  13. Wonderful website. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your effort!

  14. Hello, I just came across your blog, love it! I’m the person who posted the Polvoron recipe on Cake Central 🙂 I recently had a friend ask if I knew of a Polvoron recipe, I gave her the one I had. Like you I have struggled to find the perfect Polvoron recipe. And coincidentally just finished posting a blog about my frustration when I came accross your blog! I had came home this evening from work and decided to play with my recipe once again. It turned out better, but still missing something. Lets help each other with this quest! LOL! I can’t believe I’m not the only one that feels this way!
    Here is the link to my tweaked recipe, hopefully it works for you 🙂


  15. I always loved these as a kid and as an adult they are my favorite special treat. We are lucky (or perhaps cursed?) to have an EXCELLENT panaderia nearby but i’d like to try my hand at these for myself. Thank you so much for posting a recipe!
    I will say that i’ve performed experiments with the pink vs. non-pink versions from the panaderia, and i can taste a difference. Could it be from the traditional colorings that the Mexican bakeries use?

    • I don’t have an EXCELLENT panaderia nearby 😦 My favorite is about 20 minutes away and that is just far enough. I do have one about 5 minutes away that makes the BEST cookies though and has the most varieties.
      I am not sure about the colorings.

  16. I’m new to baking and cooking things from scratch. I would never think to try to make my own big pink cookie, it was my favorite sweet treat as a kid. Today on a whim I decided to grab a pink cookie and it got me thinking I wonder how you make these. I always loved the unique flavor of these cookies who knew it was the lard! I can’t wait to make these and thanks for making the quantity reasonable I hate trying to reduce the recipe.

  17. Pingback: Mexican Hot Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats | NerdyBaker

  18. I too read the blog you are referring to and was just as appalled and angered. lol I personally love these cookies as they ARE different from any other cookie that I have ever had, thus lending to the enjoyment-in my opinion. Your recipe is strikingly similar to the one I have from my husbands family, who incidentally is mexican. 🙂 Was quite pleased to see it on here!

    • How did you find it? I purposely didn’t want to link it or name it. I am so glad that it just wasn’t me. I tried to tone down my response in my blog but I was seriously hyperventilating after I read it. Thanks, I tried with the recipe. I don’t think my husband was thrilled with the amount of cookes we had after the third time trying. I just recently found another that might even be better and am eager to try it.

      • lol, no it wasn’t you. I was searching for “mexican cookies” to find a variation of my recipe and the offensive thing came up. I know we are ALL entitled to our opinion, freedom of press and all… but wow…. My consolation is that person just doesn’t know what they are missing! 🙂

  19. These look delicious. I’ll take one (or two) with a glass of cold milk or a mug of cocoa.
    And I am curious as to who is this hateful blogger.

    • Have you had Mexican hot chocolate? Nothing beats it! O the blogger, I think I went easy on her, I was really hyperventilating after I read it. I was not happy at all. It is not worth it to bash her, though. Obviously, she just didn’t know the joy that can be had from Mexican cookies.

  20. I cannot resist polvorones even if they taste like Crisco. Guilty pleasure for sure. San Antonio is chock full of good ones so I will file this recipe away for when I move to D.C. 🙂

  21. I have got to try this, thanks!


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