April 18, 2010

Polvoron for Kulinarya Cooking Club

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!


cusinera said...

oh! I love your idea with the freeze dried strawberry and the colour came out excellent!

Tangled Noodle said...

I LOVE polvoron and always have to stock up at Goldilocks when we visit family in CA (closest place I can find them). If you find the molds, please let me know - I could kick myself for not picking some up when we were in the Philippines last Christmas! This is definitely something I want to make. I think the strawberry ones are brilliant!

Question: did you use full-fat powdered milk? All I see in stores are non-fat.

R Y said...

That looks great! I actually bought a polvoron mould when I was in the Philippines last December, but I haven't used it, yet!

When you made the strawberry one, did you add a little extra butter to help it stick together well? Or did you replace some of the flour with the ground freeze-dried strawberries? I'd love to try making it!

I want to try matcha polvoron, too! Or kokuto--a dark brown sugar from Japan. I bet it would really rock as polvoron!

Or how about maple-flavoured, using maple sugar?

Or how would you do caramel? I love caramel everything, so I imagine caramel polvoron would be really great!


hey carol, such an innovative idea you have here. i've been meaning to shape my polvoron without the polvoron molder but to no avail.. voila here you are showing me how. i hope i will have the time to go grab some silicone pans later...hmmm clever, clever idea!

great strawberry flavor too... great twist on the classic polvoron...

The Food Librarian said...

Yum! This looks so pretty and yummy! - mary

Marvin said...

Wonderful looking polveron Caroline! The strawberry versions look awesome! I've actually been wanting to make some polveron of my own, and now you've inspired me.

Asha @ FSK said...

Carol, love your "press" idea!!! and strawberry flavor is soo cool and perfect for spring!!

Asha @ FSK said...

Carol, Love your idea for the "press"!!! and the strawberry is so perfect for spring!

Cherrie Pie said...

Great one Carol! I love the healthy version but more so the struwaerry one with chocolate! Pls make the coffee and cream one and blog.

Love the idea for the cone too. My daughter was impatient and just ended up giving her some in a bowl and she ate it with a spoon.

Anonymous said...

Wow - I just love the strawberry idea, I would imagine it to be a very unique flavour - and such a lovely colour. Great work on this challenge and thanks for the silicone mold tip.

A Canadian Foodie said...

THANK YOU! I have not made mine yet because I did not know what to do without a mold. Reading the recipe, it was apparent to me I would need a mold with some kind of a plunge to extract it with help. I have also had no luck finding a mold locally. Now I have more information. YEAH!
THANK YOU! (Big Hug!)

♥peachkins♥ said...

love that pink polvoron!

blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

Unknown said...

Excellent idea for the mould! I had to search high and low for Filipino shops that sell the mould, never realising you can actually use a muffin tin! :)

sheryl said...

Those strawberry ones are super cute! I totally want to try this.

Caroline said...

Cusinera, thank you!

Tracey, looks like it will be my life-long mission to acquire a polvoron press so I'm sure everyone will know once I get one (I'll tweet it, hehe). And yes, I used full-fat powdered milk (updated post to state that) and had bought it at supermarket but noticed more Latino markets carry the whole milk variety. Thanks for stopping by.

R Y, the measurements for the strawberry ones is same as the whole wheat recipe but I substituted all-purpose flour. I added 3/4 ounce freeze-dried strawberries (I weighed them & didn't use a measuring cup). No extra butter was added but I suppose it doesn't hurt to add more :) I like all your flavor ideas so now I'm on a hunt for kokuto. As far as caramel, I'm thinking making praline & pulverizing them before adding to flour mixture. Now I will be off to experiment with caramel polvoron. Thanks

Malou, ice-cube trays come in silicone now. I am thinking of using those since they are smaller in size, hence easier to handle & they come in different fun shapes. I love when you come by here, thanks!

mary, thank you! Please try them & let me know what you think.

Marvin! Nice of you to drop by. I am honored that I've inspired you because you always inspire me with your blog.

Asha, thank you! Maybe I need to get a Murukku maker for now while I search for a polvoron mold. Never thought about the pink color but I guess you're right, very Spring! :)

Cherrie, pink always win out over healthy ones, I guess! :) Will let you know how the Coffee Polvoron goes.

Trissa, thank you! The strawberry flavor is not as strong as you'd expect. Color is more potent than flavor but it does give it a slight tang.

Valerie, let me know what you think if you do use the silicone mold.

peachkins, thanks! Hard to resist pink. :)

Patricia,yes I've been searching on and off for a mold. I still want one, just glad the silicone worked, too!

Sheryl thank you! Please let me know what you think. I want to make your vanilla malt ones, too!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Polvoron is one of my loves. . .oh how I miss polvoron. . .these look so pretty and delicious!

Olive said...

Hi Caroline! :)

I love your strawberry polvoron and I agree, strawberries go well with chocolate..yum! .. I'll try using wholewheat pastry flour next time too :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so intrieged by these! I cannot for the life of me imagine how they must taste. they look pretty fantastic!!!

Anonymous said...

I was lost in the WEB and tried another polvoron recipe. I KNOW I like your flour/milk ratio better and more butter! YUMMY.

Thank you for sharing your recipe. I shall try it soon.

Unknown said...

Great idea for the mold! And next time I will try your whole wheat version... a sin-less way to eat this milky goodness.

Kathy Diaz

Malaka Gharib said...

I would like to join the Kulinarya cooking club. I have a Filipino-Egyptian food blog, http://thegrandinternational.com. I have the Kulinarya cookbook and I've cooked my way through it!

What's the item for next month? I would like to try my hand at cooking it and posting it to my blog!

manju said...

Gosh, these are gorgeous. Gave up eating polvorone but miss that dry milk flavor sometimes -- your strawberry ones just might tempt me back! : )

Lardon My French said...

Hey! I just saw your comment on my polvoron post! How funny is it that we used the same mold!!! Yours look (and sound) great too! Great minds DO think alike! :)

Rochelle said...

The chocolate-covered strawberry polvoron looks delicious. It's hard to get a traditional polvoron press in Sydney, too. Good idea for the silicone moulds. Thanks for sharing!


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