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Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

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Polvorones de canela are a favorite in the American Southwest and Mexico. These cookies are most often made during the holidays, a time when we get to enjoy the sweet and savory tastes of the season. But these cookies are just as good in the summer as in winter. So whether it’s actually Christmas time or if we’re just celebrating “Christmas in July” – a batch of these sweet and spicy cookies is always a good idea. Cinnamon and sugar are probably one of our favorite flavor combinations; we love the warm spice paired with those sweet sugar granules.

A brief cinnamon lesson is called for here. “Canela” is the Spanish term for cinnamon; it refers to a more pure form of cinnamon, originating in Sri Lanka. In the U.S., we are more familiar with “cassia” – a cinnamon variety similar to what is used in Mexico, but slightly different in flavor. Canela usually comes in stick form, but it grinds easily in a spice mill or coffee grinder. We highly recommend using a Mexican cinnamon, if it’s available in your grocery store; the difference in flavor makes these cookies taste extra special. If canela isn’t available, then our usual cinnamon fare will absolutely work here.

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Baking usually means we’re getting ready for time spent with family and friends. Good food always means good fun, and a sweet treat like this is just what the occasion needs. We can’t think of a better combination than cinnamon and sugar, and when they’re set atop a chewy cookie, well – that’s OK with us! The smell of warm cinnamon cookies baking in the oven couldn’t be more welcoming, and what a great way to greet our guests than with an inviting aroma to indicate all the delicious food that awaits.

Cinnamon Cookies

40 minutes to prepare 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar + 2 tablespoons, divided
  • ½ cup shortening (or unsalted butter)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter, eggs, shortening, vanilla, and 1 ½ cups sugar at medium speed until creamy.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Sift into butter mixture and mix to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  5. Scoop 1 tablespoonful of dough and roll into a ball. Toss in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Recipe adapted from Home Sweet Decor

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