This month, the Kulinarya Cooking Club presents Polvoron (Tagalog, Pulboron). The crumbly, creamy pastry, likened to shortbread, is beloved by all Filipinos. Philippines, a former colony of Spain, had adapted this shortbread and made it their own. The best thing about them, they are never baked!
This recipe is very easy to make but it posed a challenge for me since you need a special tool to shape them and these molds are difficult to find in US. When I found out we will be making polvoron, I called Filipino stores in my area but had no luck. The molds sometimes comes up on e-Bay or Etsy but when I checked, they are not available at the moment.
The previous times I've made polvoron, I usually would use mini muffin tins to form them but they are difficult to get out. Usually only one polvoron would come out nice from a dozen; the rest would fall apart or have crumbled edges. These would leave me very frustrated so I would just give up and eat polvoron with a spoon. Some times, to make it really portable, I would just place them in a paper cone, fold to close up the opening, cut the tip off and let the crumbs fall into my mouth, just like how we used to eat melted ice cream from an ice cream cone when we were kids. Hey, whatever works, right? :) (Actually, an old trick I learned from my older sister. She would give my impatient brothers and I paper cones filled with polvoron powder to quiet us while she finished shaping the polvoron.)
This time, I decided to use a silicone pan and see if it will give me better results. Since Silicone pans or molds are flexible, I thought maybe it'll be easier for me to ease out the polvoron with minimal damage. I found this bite-size brownie silicone pan and went to work. It was definitely a better way than using a metal tin pan but some still were coming out broken. Hmm, maybe I wasn't pressing enough into the mold. I tried shaping them again and with my husband's suggestion, placed the filled pan in the freezer for a few minutes. And golly, it worked! Yay!
I made the classic polvoron recipe and gave it a healthy twist by using whole wheat flour. I used whole wheat pastry flour which has a finer texture and lighter mouth feel, which I thought would blend in with the creamy powdered milk.
Whole Wheat Polvoron
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup powdered milk (preferably whole milk)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
Place flour in a dry skillet and on low heat until evenly golden brown and smells nutty, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
Add powdered milk and stir to combine. Add sugar and stir again.
Turn off heat, add butter and mix completely. Mold into shape.
But I didn't stop there. Yesterday, feeling inspired by the fresh strawberries I've been seeing (and buying) from the farmers' market, I decided to make strawberry polvoron. However, this recipe doesn't use fresh strawberries but freeze-dried ones, pulverized with the sugar in a spice or coffee grinder.
Once finely-powdered, add them in the toasted flour and dry milk mixture. Stir to combine before adding the butter. Polvoron is done! Well almost, still have to mold them. :)
And strawberries are always better with a little chocolate to go along with them. So I decided to drizzle some melted chocolate on them. Nothing wrong with a little chocolate, right? I have originally wanted to call these Strawberries and Cream Polvoron but with the added chocolate, maybe call them Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Polvoron?
Now that I can mold polvoron, I can't wait to try out other polvoron recipes. My husband already requested a Coffee & Cream Polvoron (not mocha but pure coffee, he said). I also would like to try other fruits that's been freeze-dried like blueberries or mango, mmm. I also have matcha powder I've been meaning to use for polvoron. What flavors would you like for polvoron?
Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.
Please visit my fellow Kulinarya members for their Polvoron creations:
If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!