Pan Dulce: Polvorones {Mexican Shortbread Cookies w/ Rainbow Sprinkles}

While making my favorite pan dulce (Mexican pastry) earlier this week for She Made/Ella Hace, my kiddies suggested that I also make their favorite pan dulce: Polvorones.  Polvorones are Mexican shortbread cookies that are available in many different varieties: pink, chocolate, vanilla, tricolor, and topped with chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and/or powdered sugar, etc.  But the polvorones my kiddies always look for first at the panaderia (Mexican bakery) are the ones with lots and lots of rainbow sprinkles.

So yesterday, as a special after-school treat to celebrate surviving the first week of school, the kiddies and I made Polvorones with extra rainbow sprinkles.  Actually the kiddies did most of the work.  I just helped them roll out the dough, handled the oven, and took lots of pictures.

(recipe from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • Rainbow sprinkles (grageas in Spanish) 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.  Using a potato masher, combine the butter into the flour mixture until no big pieces of butter are visible.  Continue to work the dough with your hands until the dough forms a ball.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Roll out the dough, between two sheets of plastic wrap, to 1/4-inch thickness.

Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap and cut out cookies with a 3-inch cookie cutter.  (You can use any shape cookie cutter you want. My kiddies chose to use the round cookie cutter so that their polvorones resembled the ones from the panaderia.) 

Spoon desired amount of sprinkles on top of cookies.  (We believe that you can never have too many sprinkles!)

Gently press down on the sprinkles so that they stick to the cookie.

Carefully transfer the cookies to an ungreased baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 to 2-inches apart.  Bake at 350F for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet once, after 10 minutes.  Let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


*Recipe yields about 24 3-inch cookies. 


I Heart Cooking Clubs theme: August Potluck


  1. Fun! These are another of our favorites, as well - and such a perfect project for the kids =)

  2. Absolutely precious! Thank you so much for bringing dessert!! These are officially on my cookie list!!

  3. Such delightful and lovely shortbread! I love munching on shortbread and kids would definitely love the colourful sprinkles! Thanks for sharing!

  4. A mi tambien me encantan los polvorones. Quando vivia en Mexico mi preferido pan dulce eran esta galletas y tambien conchas. Si una galletita or conchita de vainilla con una tasa de chocolate. Thanks for sharing Leslie, and for the childhood memories:)

  5. Like a mexi-shortbread - delicious!

  6. I love these little cookies--so pretty with the sprinkles and buttery texture. ;-)