Until my current adventure through the regions of Nayirit and Jalisco Mexico, Mexican Polvorones equaled Mexican Wedding Cookies. I verified my assumption by a quick perusal of websites for Mexican Polvolones. Sure enough nearly all the sites gave recipes for Mexican Wedding Cookies; that wonderful short and nutty cookie coated with powdered sugar.
A friend in Lo de Marcos (LdM) (co-founder of La Casa de los Ninos in LdM) directed me to a small bakery housed in a shed up the road from their beach house. I walked down Carraterra A Playa Las Minitas Ave. and turned up Villas del Mar. With my translator, Franny, we turned into a driveway with a blue gate. As instructed, we looked to the right after walking down the driveway a bit and found a open door shed. The bakery had no name, just great baked goods. We arrived in late morning so all the bread, pastries and cookies were baked and shelved.
We asked the baker if he had cookies; He showed us his one and only type, a polvorone. The cookie, shaped into a 4 inch pressed circle around 3/8 inch thick, sat in a group on a shelf ready to be packed.
Our friend who totally raves about this cookie asked us to pick up a few for him. Each cookie probably weighed about 4-5 ounces! The cookies looked crispy, even with their thickness. Most interesting to me, the cookies took their heat in a brick oven. Brick ovens dry cookies out better as they bake, as compared to a gas oven with a tight door.
These cookies, very dry and very short, created a spark in my palate as I took my first taste. Great cookies, I relayed to my friend.
From that first taste, I searched out bakeries in every town I visited looking for the Big Circle polvorones. I tasted 6 different cookies over a three day period.
Until we tasted the Big Circle polvorone from Café San Pedro, Juaraz #85, Tlaquepaque we did not find any great polvorones to compare with our LdM cookie.
The Café San Pedro polvorone is a close second behind the LdM cookie. The big difference lay in the use of a brick oven, or not. The Café cookie was chewier, with a texture that reminds me of a Snickerdoodle. While both cookies gave a good short flavor, the extra crispiness created by the brick oven won the day.
I pound heavier after all the polvorone tasting, I now look forward to more walks around Guadalajara with no new bakery mission in mind!