Polvoron is a Filipino-style shortbread made of toasted flour, powdered milk, sugar, and butter. Sweet, buttery, and easy to customize with different flavors, it’s a delicious snack or dessert and great for gift-giving, too!
Every time I visit the Philippines, I make sure I bring at least a dozen polvoron molds back with me to the U.S. I love making different flavors of polvorones throughout the year but I always seem to misplace my molds and can’t find any when I need them.
Of course, when I DON’T need them, I find them everywhere.
What does Polvorones Mean?
Polvoron is a type of shortbread popular in Spain and its former colonies in Latin America and the Philippines. As its name which comes from the Spanish word polvo (“powder” or “dust”) suggests, it’s a soft, crumbly confection made of flour, milk, sugar, fat, and nuts.
While the traditional Filipino version uses powdered full cream milk, toasted flour, sugar, and butter or margarine, other ingredients such as ube (purple yam), strawberry, pinipig (crispy rice), cashew, and cookies are also commonly added as flavor variants.
The mixture is shaped into small portions using tin molds and then wrapped individually in colorful cellophane or Japanese paper to maintain freshness.
Tips on How to Make Polvoron
I find the ratio of 2 cups toasted flour, 1 cup powdered milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup melted butter yields a buttery and crumbly but sturdy texture. Combine the mixture until slightly moistened; if it feels a bit dry, add additional melted butter in 1 tablespoon increments.
Make sure to pack the molds as compact as possible to keep the polvoron from falling apart.
You can also freeze them before wrapping for about for 3 to 5 minutes or until firm to help them hold shape.