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Christmas dinner in Spain wouldn’t be complete without the typical Christmas dessert: the dry, floury sweets known as polvorones. The ones Aida makes are with chocolate, and also made with olive oil. Aida suggests finishing off with a very tasty, sweet dessert – these cocoa polvorones.
Traditional polvorones are made with pork lard. This is their distinguishing feature, but the person behind the Begin Vegan Begun blog gives them her personal touch, replacing the fat with olive oil. This gives a smoother texture, and makes this a 100% vegan recipe. The secret of a good polvorón is to roast the flour properly and knead it up with the olive oil and the other ingredients.
The origins of polvorones go back to the 16th century, in Estepa, where it was common to use pork lard in baking and they started making the typical mantecado sweets. However, in the 19th century Filomena Micaela Ruiz, a merchant’s wife, wanted to be able to sell the mantecados she made in the different towns her husband visited. To do this she made some mantecados with more flour so that they’d stay fresher, and this was the origin of the characteristic texture of the polvorón.
So let’s get to work and make some polvorones for this festive season. a good way of having them for those with a sweet tooth is with a nice glass of Amandín Organic Tiger Nut Horchata of any other plant-based drink.
- 500g wheat flour
- 500g wheat flour
- 1 glass of olive oil (about 200 ml)
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground almonds
First pre-heat the oven to 180º to roast the flour a little: put it on an oven sheet and heat it for about 15 minutes. Then let it cool down completely.
When the flour’s cold, add the glacé sugar, the cocoa and the ground almonds. Mix it all well and then gradually stir in the glass of olive oil. You can start off with a spoon or a whisk, but you’ll also need to knead it with your hands.
When the dough’s even, roll it out with a rolling pin on a flat surface with a little flour sprinkled on it. Roll it to a thickness of about a centimetre and cut out the circles with a pastry cutter or a small glass. You can also roll it into little balls with your hands and then flatten them.
Put them on a baking sheet spread with a little olive oil to stop them sticking and bake them for about 15 minutes. Then let the polvorones cool down before moving them, otherwise they’ll fall apart. Then you can sprinkle a little glacé sugar over them.
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