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Author Notes: Back in November, I found a recipe for Hazelnut Polvorones- which are similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies-but this recipe contained no flour. Instead, it called for all cornstarch -which produced this amazing melt-in-your-mouth quality. But I wanted to work with other nuts and flavorings, so I started making variants. After consistent trial and error, I came up with a successful recipe for Maple Pecan and Lemon Pecan Polvorones, and finally, for Pistachio Green Tea Polvorones. Because the experiments sometimes came out too crumbly, I substituted a little flour for cornstarch, to give a little more structure to the dough. (for GF, just use all cornstarch and keep in mind that they might be a little crumbly.) I really liked the 'melt in your mouth' texture of them and
for me, maple extract is wonderful. Like the mint extracts, it has an authentic flavor (not a fake flavor like so many other extracts.) As with my Pistachio Green Tea Polvorones, I did try these with a (Maple White Chocolate) Truffle Filling, but I peferred these with just the one cookie texture. Sandy, melty, delicate, and not too sweet,with a robust maple flavor. —LE BEC FIN
- 2 cups shelled raw pecans
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons maple sugar*, ground to powder
- 1 7/8 cup cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons 'white whole wheat' or spelt flour(for GF, use all cornstarch)
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut up into 8 chunks
- 2 Tablespoons brandy
- 1/2 tablespoon maple extract
- confectioners sugar for dusting
- In food processor, pulse and grind pecans with sugar til fine. Add cornstarch, flour and Salt and pulse to combine thoroughly, using a knife to free up the bottom corner of the mixture. Add butter and pulse to combine. Combine vanilla through brandy and add while pulsing . When dough is just starting to come together, but before mixture gets creamy and clumps together, pour out into a 9" square pan (or 8 or 10" square pan; it doesn't need to be buttered) , spread to even thickness and smooth the top with a metal spatula. Cover and refrigerate .Allow an hour to thoroughly chill and firm up. Score and cut into a grid that is 8 by 6 squares .
- Run a metal spatula under the cubes; lift sections of them and roll each into a ball, adding to or removing from them to get them all about the same size. Return to square pan and chill 1/2 hr in refrig . Place 2" apart on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 17-20* minutes til lightly browned and sweet nutty smell is indicating their doneness. Remove pan to rack. Cool. Transfer to another sheet pan or container, placing shoulder to shoulder. Sift heavy layer of confectioners sugar over them. Cool and store in airtight container.
- * When I first started baking these, i baked them too little; they are much better when they are caramel colored- the nuttiness of the pecans really stands out.
- Note: In the freezer I store scored saran wrapped dough pieces(takes up the least space this way) or rolled balls, and bake as needed.
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