These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar. In the US these are known as Mexican wedding cookies, and are dusted with powdered sugar. In northern Mexico, where I'm from, they are very popular during the Christmas season. You can see them displayed in panadería windows, and are often given as gifts.
This is the mother of all cookie recipes (cue angelic choir). It might just be one recipe, but you can make many different kinds of cookies, I made 3, apricot thumbprint cookies, hojarascas dusted with cinnamon sugar, and pecan hojarascas dusted with powdered sugar. On the other hand, if anise and orange isn't your thing, you can add ground nuts, dried fruits, or even coat them in chocolate. Our favorite cookie out of the three was a small round one dusted in cinnamon-sugar.
Now that we live in San Antonio visiting family is so much easier, and I am very happy to be spending Christmas in my childhood home. My mom goes all out on the Christmas decorations, and the kids are so excited about Santa coming and are counting down the days. We are making tamales tomorrow for Christmas eve, and are planning all sorts of games and activities for the children. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
The Recipe: Orange and Anise Vegan Hojarascas
- I used Earth Balance as a butter substitute, which is salted, so if you use salted butter omit the salt in the recipe.( I did try to make these with coconut oil, but I wasn't a fan of the result.)
- The recipe is so simple. You cream butter and sugar, then add the orange zest, anise, and vanilla extract.
- You can add 1/4 cup of finely chopped pecans if you like nuts, then dust with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar depending on your preferences. ¡Enjoy!
Orange and Anise Vegan Hojarascas
- 5 oz. (2/3 cup) Sugar, granulated
- 12 oz. (1 ½ cups) Vegan butter, room temperature
- 16 oz. (3 cups) Flour, all-purpose
- 1 tsp. Ground anise seed
- 1 tbsp. Orange zest
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups Cane sugar
- 1 tbsp. Freshly ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cream butter and sugar, in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Add vanilla, orange zest, and ground anise. Mix.
- Slowly add flour, with mixer at low speed. Mix until well combined.
- Line 2 sheet-pans with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a floured surface to ¼ inch thick and cut into desired shapes (you can also roll dough into 1 inch balls and bake them that way).
- Place cut dough on sheet-tray, 1 inch apart from each other.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until bottoms become golden brown.
- Remove from oven. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, dust with cinnamon sugar.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.