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Easy Mexican Shortbread Cookies:
Just 6 Ingredients!

Mexican Shortbread Cookies, also called polvorones (prounounced pohll-vuh- rohn-ays) come in all shapes and sizes: pink, chocolate, vanilla, tricolor, topped with chocolate chips, chopped pecans, powdered sugar. Pink and yellow polvorones are traditionally offered at Mexican bakeries.

This recipe is a simple version that’s fun to make with your kids or just easy to make for you.

These polvorones stick pretty closely to the classic shortbread ingredient ratio of 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, and 3 parts flour. Here, you add food coloring, roll out the cookie dough, cut out the cookies with cookie cutters, decorate them, and bake them like cut outs.

With food coloring and sprinkles, they are as colorful as the polvorones from a Mexican bakery.

Prep time: 20-30 minutes

Bake time: 10-12 minutes

Makes about 3 dozen 2-inch cookies

Mexican Shortbread Cookies from The Cookie Elf


1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) butter or margarine, softened

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt 

Pink and yellow food coloring

Rainbow sprinkles

Directions for Easy Mexican Shortbread Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.  
  2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the butter and sugar. Gradually add flour and salt. The mixture will be crumbly. Continue to beat the cookie dough until it forms soft pellets.
  3. Divide the cookie dough in half. Place one half in a separate bowl. Add yellow food coloring to one half and pink food coloring to the other half. Mix each bowl separately, one at a time, until the pellets turn a uniform yellow/uniform pink.
  4. Work each half of the dough with your hands until it forms a ball.  
  5. To roll out dough, begin with one color. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to ¼-inch thickness. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters directly onto the plastic wrap below. Carefully transfer the cookies to an ungreased baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 to 2-inches apart.  Continue to roll out dough until all is cut out. Decorate cookies with colorful sprinkles.
  6. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes for 2-inch cookies (a bit less for smaller cut outs, a bit more for larger ones.) Remove baking sheets from the oven. Let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Store cookies in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers.

Baking Tips for Easy Mexican Shortbread Cookies

Use any shape cookie cutter you want. Round polvorones (or round with scalloped edges, like a biscuit cutter) are one traditional favorite.

To help sprinkles adhere (and not fall off and make a mess when you remove cookies from the baking sheet), press them into the dough with your finger or the back of a spoon while you decorate – rather than simply sprinkle them on top.

Get more ideas on our Mexican Cookies Pinterest board.

More Colorful and Easy Mexican Cookie Recipes

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