Pan de Polvo is A Family Recipe

My grandmother would always have stacks of plastic food tubs full of traditional pan de polvo on top of the refrigerator  in her back pantry. Therefore, I spent a lot of time back there, stalking these poor little cookies. They never had a chance.

The trick to pan de polvo is to make them in advance. When I first started making these in my home, I was always disappointed with their cardboard-ish texture, and lack of flavor. But after a few days in a plastic food tub, voila! Magic! If you allow them to rest in storage for 4 to 5 days, their texture become svelvety, the cinnamon flavor ripens,  and these unassuming cookies morph into an absolute addiction.

Some people like to use cookie press guns when making pan de polvo. I have done that a few times, as it saves you the mess and hassle of rolling out the dough. Plus, the cookie guns press out cookies with less waste. Either way is fine. Using a cookie gun makes the cookies a bit thinner, and takes away that thick shortbread quality you get with cookies that are rolled out and cut with a cookie cutter.

Kids love making these cookies. They can choose the cookie cutters (small ones are best) and you can break away from the traditional shapes of stars, hearts and circles and try dinosaurs or flowers. Just make sure the cookie cutters are small, and not too detailed. This dough can be sticky, and is not meant for intricate shapes such as snowflakes, or large shapes such as gingerbread men. Keep these cookies small and simple.

Great to Have on Hand When You are Short on Time

And if you have the time, freshly grind the cinnamon for the cookie (the tea part of the recipe requires whole cinnamon always.) My grandmother used a spice grinder to freshly grind cinnamon for her pan de polvo, and what a world of difference it makes in the flavor.

For my batch pictured here, I shamefully used store bought ground cinnamon, and if you noticed, I cut my cookies too big. Ah well, modern times. I am crazy busy at the moment. But I still think my grandmother would be pleased I am following her recipes, even when I don’t have that much time.



Traditional Pan de Polvo (Cinnamon Sugar Cookies)

Pan of warm pan de polvo
  • Author: Melissa Guerra
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 doz
  • Category: Cookies
  • Cuisine: Latin American



1 stick cinnamon

2 cups water


5-6 cups flour (700-750 gr)

1 ¼ cups sugar (250gr)

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon (7 gr)

1 ½ tsp. baking powder (6gr)

2 ¾ cup lard or shortening (560gr)


1 ½ cups sugar (300 gr)

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon (7 gr)


Make the tea by combining the stick of cinnamon with the water, and boiling for approximately 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and shortening or lard in a large mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup of the cinnamon tea. Mix well using an electric mixer, until the dough is smooth. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and cut into 2” (5cm) wide shapes. Roll to a ¼” thickness (6mm.) Knead in extra flour if dough seems too soft.

Bake for 8 minutes, until golden. While the cookies are baking, combine the sugar and ground cinnamon for the topping in a shallow bowl. Remove the cookies from the oven, allow to cool briefly, and roll the warm cookies through the sugar topping mixture. Set aside to cool completely. Roll again in the powdered sugar, if desired.


It’s difficult to make the exact amount of cinnamon tea needed for this recipe, and its a real hassle when you make too little. I always make a little extra so I have what I need. The rest can be added to another recipe, or perhaps you can add  some to a hot tea or coffee beverage. On its own, cinnamon tea is nice with a bit of sugar and lemon.



  • JessicaReply

    October 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Melissa….at what point in the recipe do you use the cinnamon tea? I remember my grandmother making these when we were little in Pearsall, Tx. It’s about time I started making them. My tias in the valley would make them as well. However, they would make them with tiny cookie cutters. So much time and love put into their pan de polvo.

    • Melissa GuerraReply

      October 29, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Hi, thanks for asking, I just fixed the recipe. Its 3/4 cup of tea. Sorry about that! xo

  • Jeannette CookReply

    October 30, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    I love Pan de Polvo.where can I find the corrected recipe with the tea added?

  • Teresa CarrilloReply

    December 6, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Does the shortening need to be melted before mixing together?

    • Melissa GuerraReply

      December 26, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Hi, sorry for the late response. No, the shortening should be room temperature. Super easy! Have a great holiday!

  • IreneReply

    December 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Your recipe is so like mine only I use one table spoon of anise for the tea.

    Irene G

  • Beatriz CoxReply

    December 13, 2017 at 10:51 am

    It’s my first time to make this cookies and they came out perfect

  • Melissa GuerraReply

    December 26, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    HI, sorry for the late response. They will be crunchy at first, but if you pack them in a container, wait a few days, and they become soft and velvety. I like them soft too. Have a great holiday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Related BLOGS


Roasted Poblano and Turkey Pot Pie

Next on my list is a new diet and exercise routine. But first, we have to deal with the left overs. Turkey always seems like a great idea for the armies of people that show up for meals here at the ranch. Inexpensive and plentiful, roasting a turkey over the holidays seems like a natural […]


Pear and Cardamom Pie with Red Walnut Crust

      My Secrets for Making Great Pie Crust Fruit pies are an all time fave, and…well, not to brag, but I can throw one together in about 15 minutes. When the grocery store is over an hour’s drive away, baking from scratch is a better option than a road trip to purchase something […]


Fresh Peach Buttermilk Pan de Elote with Honey Butter

Lazy Days of Summer Lord, how long is summer going to be? I mean, I love the slow, lazy days, don’t get me wrong. But a girl can be lazy and cool, right? What good is being lazy if I can’t even think the thoughts I had set aside to think about later? My brains […]