Mexican Almond Cookies

, from Issue #44. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Mexican Almond Cookies

These popular cookies are found throughout Mexico in the local ‘panadería’ (bakery). The combination of butter and vegetable shortening makes them the ultimate melt-in-the mouth cookie.


½ cup ground almonds
2 cups plain flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup icing sugar
100 grams butter, diced and chilled
100 gram vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar extra for rolling


Preheat the oven to 160˚C.

Put the almonds, flour, salt and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and vegetable shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Whisk the egg and vanilla together and pour into the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture just comes together to form a soft dough. Don’t worry if there are little pieces of butter or shortening in the dough, as that’s what it should look like.

Tip onto the bench and form the dough into a log. Pinch off pieces then quickly roll with the palms of your hands to make large marble-sized cookies. You should get about 30.

Place on a lined baking tray and if the dough is quite soft, place in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden, turning the tray for even colouring if needed.

Cool on the tray for 10 minutes then dust with a ¼ cup of the icing sugar, moving the cookies around to coat the bases as well. Leave for 30 minutes. Put the remaining icing sugar in a dish and toss each cookie to coat thoroughly. Makes about 30

Pantry note: Kremelta vegetable shortening is available in tubs in the baking section at supermarkets.