Better known as Mexican sprinkle cookies.
I’ve been looking for a universal name for these colourful cookies and, after some serious asking around, I think it really depends on who you ask. So far, I’ve heard: polvorones Mexicanos (my favourite!), galletas con chochitos, galletas de arcoiris, sprinkle cookies, galletas de grageas, rainbow cookies and chispitas. Did you know “grageas” is the word for sprinkles in Spanish?! I sure didn’t until this past year. I know, I know. Anyway, let me know in the comments what you know these cookies as so that we can solve the mystery once and for all!
Over the years, I’ve started seeing these sprinkle cookies in the US more often than in Mexico. I still wonder why. Also, the texture is different in Mexico than it is in the US. The ones I’ve had in Mexico tend to lean more towards the sugar cookie side of the spectrum while the ones in the US tend to be more shortbread-like. For that reason, when I was trying to come up with a recipe for these grageitas for Metate Bake Shop, I figured a hybrid of these two versions would probably be a good place to start. So, I set out to make the Canadian version a bit less crunchy than the Mexican one and a bit less crumbly than the ones in the US. The result was a buttery, tender cookie with a touch of crunchiness to it. I was very happy with the result to say the least. I mean, it was the best of both worlds in a way.
The recipe for these grageitas has remained the same since Metate Bake Shop set up its first booth at a farmer’s market. However, I have experimented with different sizes, shapes and sprinkles over the years and I encourage you to do the same! I used to make them tiny – almost bite-size. I thought they looked really cute but a larger cookie looked more impressive at the markets, I’m not going to lie. I also really like round sprinkles better than long ones, but I once ordered a 5kg bag of LONG sprinkles rather than round ones by mistake and, well, grageitas with long sprinkles it was for a while at the markets. Turns out, long sprinkles were a hit with kids. Go figure. Another thing I tried were seasonal sprinkles. They were fun, but not my favourite. They seemed to come off the cookie very easily. So, whichever way you decide to make these grageitas your own, have fun with it! There are absolutely no rules. Sometimes successful experiments happen by choice and sometimes by mistake. It’s all part of the process, don’t you worry.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these polvorones Mexicanos:
- 330g butter, at room temperature
- 230g sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 5g vanilla extract
- 550g flour
- 10g baking powder
- 2g salt
- Rainbow sprinkles
- Combine dry ingredients: In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- Dissolve sugar: In a bowl, whisk butter and sugar together until butter has gotten slightly lighter in colour and the sugar has dissolved into the butter. It shouldn’t feel completely smooth but it shouldn’t feel grainy either. You can also do this by hand. The warmth from you hands will actually help with this step and it will prevent over creaming the butter.
- Add eggs: Add eggs and egg yolks one by one to the butter mix and keep mixing until homogenous. Add vanilla extract and mix once again until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients: Add dry ingredients to butter & egg mixture. With your hand, bring everything together into a smooth dough while being careful not to overmix.
- Sprinkle your cookies with colour: Portion your cookie dough into 70g balls. Roll the cookie dough portions in the rainbow sprinkles. Press lightly so that more sprinkles stick to your cookie dough. Place on baking tray and press to flatten.
- Bake: Bake at 325F for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!
I divide my cookie dough into 70g portions but feel free to play around with the size of your cookies. I wouldn’t go past 90-100g per cookie, though. Unless, of course, you want cookies the size of your face. In that case, if you do make them that big, PLEASE send me a pic!
When you place your cookies on the baking tray and flatten them, keep in mind that the flatter they are, the crunchier they will turn out. I flatten mine to a thickness of about 1cm. The thickness will also slightly affect the baking time but not by much in this case. If you make your grageitas thicker than me, simply add a couple more minutes to the baking time – no more than that.
In the summer this is usually not an issue but in the winter, your dough will dry out faster and the sprinkles may not stick to the dough as well as they should. Not a problem! Place your sprinkle-less cookie dough on your baking tray, top with sprinkles and press sprinkles in as you flatten them.
As always, let me see your creations by tagging me as @metatebakeshop on Instagram and Metate Bake Shop on Facebook. Hope you enjoy this fun grageitas recipe!