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A polvorón is a type of heavy, soft and very crumbly Spanish shortbread produced mostly in Andalusia. Polvorones are popular in all Spain and Latin America and other ex-Spanish colonies such as the Philippines during Christmas. It is made of flour, sugar, milk, and nuts. They are normally produced from September to January but are now often available year round. There are about 70 factories in Andalusia that are part of a syndicate that produce polvorones and mantecados. Under the name mantecados, these sweets are a traditional preparation of other areas of the Iberian Peninsula as well.

There are authors who claim a possible Levantine origin, based on a similar sweet known as ghurayba, but the recipe is too simple and one of the traditional main ingredients in the polvorones is pig fat.

Regional variations

In Mexico, these are traditionally served at weddings and celebrations. The cookies themselves are small balls usually made with pecans. They are known in the United States as Mexican wedding cookies.

In the Philippines, a number of local variants on the traditional polvorón recipe have been made. Well known variants include polvorón with casuy (cashew nut), and polvorón with pinipig (beaten young green rice, similar to rice crispies). Strawberry, chocolate and cookies-and-cream polvorón also exist.

Spain: these days there are options different from pig fat, like cow fat, as well as vegetarian polvorones and mantecados made with olive oil.

United States: sometimes called Pan de Polvo, it is made with anise in the south Texas region.

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