holiday cookies
Photo: Johnny Miller
When a fellow cook introduced Anita Lo to polvorón, a Filipino milk candy, in the 1990s she was instantly obsessed. "It's everything that everyone adores: malty and nutty, loaded with brown butter, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture," says Lo.

Makes about 20 candies

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4½ Tbsp. malt-flavor Ovaltine powder
  • 4½ Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 5 hours


Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then chop finely.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook flour over medium-low heat, stirring often, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large plate to let cool. Wipe skillet clean and return it to the stove. Add butter and cook over medium heat, without stirring, until fragrance is nutty and solids are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, stir together reserved flour, Ovaltine powder, dry milk, sugar, and salt. Add reserved butter and vanilla, stir until smooth, and then stir in reserved walnuts. Using a tablespoon, press into small, round candies, and then turn out onto a large plate. Set aside in a cool, dry place until firm, about 4 hours. Wrap individually in waxed paper and store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Without Borders, by Anita Lo and Charlotte Druckman (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

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