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Hojarascas Recipe – Traditional Mexican Shortbread Cookies

hojarascas recipe mexican shortbread cookies

Since I was little, I have always loved stepping on crunchy leaves that come off the trees in the fall. They crumble under your feet and for some weird reason, to me, it’s oddly rewarding. Haha. The Spanish word for those leaves is hojarascas and these amazingly light, crumbly and addicting cookies are named after the crumbly leaves in autumn. Hojarascas is pronounced oh-ha-rascas (the H is silent).

These cinnamon sugar coated shortbread cookies have been in our family for a long time. They are very popular in the states of Nuevo León and Caohuila in Mexico. My dad’s family is from Nuevo León and I have the fondest memories of running into my Buelita’s (that’s what we called our grandmother) house, getting so hyped when I saw a bunch of these babies on the table! For the record, growing up, I used to always call these cookies polvorones – our whole family did. As I looked online, I found some people call them that as well, but the most common and official name for them is hojarascas.

This recipe is super easy and quick! We were so excited to make these cookies that were such a big part of our childhood! You can bet we’re gonna be making these for the holidays this year. YUM!

Funny story, when we looked up a recipe, I didn’t realize until we had already made the dough that the setting was at 12 dozen cookies. 12 DOZEN!! Lol. Needless to say, we made a ridiculous amount of cookies! After adapting it to our own liking, we found our perfect recipe that we feel tastes just like home. So, here’s the recipe for 3 dozen 3inch hojarascas! You are going to love them! Please make them and let us know how much you love them…because you will!



(Makes 3 dozen 3 inch perfectly crumbly and delicately addicting cookies)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in the blender or food processor.
  3. Pour into a bowl and add egg, baking powder and shortening. Combine well.
  4. Pour the flour in gradually, mixing it only 1/2 cup at a time. Towards the last 1/2 cup, the mixture will become difficult to stir. At this point, use your hands to knead the dough until smooth. If you find that the dough is breaking too much, add drops of water to help it stick together and continue to knead.
  5. Roll it out to 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick and use whatever cookie cutters you have! (We only had the cap to the baking powder can, so we used that lol.)
  6. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake them for 10-15min.
  7. For the coating, combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Once the cookies are done and while they are still warm, gently toss them in the cinnamon sugar combination until fully coated.
  8. Let cookies cool (or don’t) and dig in!

We’re so so happy with these! The taste takes us right back to Buelita’s house running around outside with our cousins and coming inside to grab one or two or as many cookies as we could! So good! These cookies even go great with a nice, warm bowl of arroz con leche! Let us know if you try to make these, you won’t be disappointed! For another delicious Mexican treat, check out our Buñuelos recipe!



What are some of your favorite fall recipes? Any traditional foods that have been in your family for generations? We want to know!

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