18 Jan2007


During the holidays, we usually have several bowls filled with candy, sweets and other goodies on the dining room table so that anyone who drops by can just pick and choose. Some years, the bounty is “Western” influenced with foil wrapped chocolates, candy canes, etc. polv2But other years, it is filled with local goodies of all sorts. Sometimes, we have it all mixed up. When there are that many sugar-based calories on a table, it almost always looks good. Polvoron is a favorite “sweet” that I must have a taste of at least once a year. Recently, however, the prevalence of BAD polvoron has been a bit of a turn-off. I don’t know how to make polvoron, so I only eat it when it is received as a gift or, if I buy it. A disappointing polvoron is one that is incredibly dry and sucks up all the moisture in your mouth. It lacks flavor and often is too sweet. Sometimes it’s like eating a tablespoon of instant powdered milk. Yuck. So I was thrilled when I purchased three containers of polvoron from Blue Kitchen last December and they turned out to be really good. Not so dry, good flavor and just sweet enough. They even had a nice texture (sometimes, folks add bits of pinipig I think). And I think I must have purchased them the day they arrived at the store, since they appeared particularly fresh. They only last a week or two but that’s okay, they never last more than a few days in this house…

Wrapped in festive colors and in a small plastic container, they were perfect for me. Labelled “Purple-Lia Polvoron,” they were PHP 170 per container that weighed polv3about 250 grams and had 14 pieces. Pricey but yummy. Now I know where to go when I have that urge for Polvoron. I really like Blue Kitchen, a small gem of a store that is great for a lot of food items most folks couldn’t be bothered to make themselves anymore. If you are a balikbayan back in Manila for a visit, make sure you get to the small Blue Kitchen outlets at the basement of Rockwell or at the Shangrila Mall in Mandaluyong, I am certain you will find lots to eat right on the spot or bring back to your home country. And no, I am not related to the owners… I just like the place. When we were in Barcelona last year, we happened to pass by a sweets shop that had “Polvoron” in the window (third photo here)…but it was closed and I never got to try the confection there, and at about PHP700+ for a dozen large pieces, albeit beautifully packaged, I wonder if they were really that good…hmmm, now I am curious, for those of you who have had polvoron in Spain and in the Philippines, are they similar or very different???



  1. nikka says:

    I’ve had polvoron while in Bordeaux… the thing is I was the one who made it! I made a batch for my host family while there for World Youth Day in ’97. It was only after the toasting and mixing did I realize that I didn’t have the tin mold thingy! Haha… oh well, my hosts were very gracious and seemed to enjoy what I’d prepared. Later on, I mailed them a Pinoy cook book and the mold.

    Jan 18, 2007 | 6:19 pm


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  3. Victoria says:

    The similarities are the common ingredients like flour,sugar, butter, salt and in the texture that crumble easily, that’s why they both need to be individually wrapped. And the difference?
    Spain’s polvorones are baked cookies with other ingredients like eggyolk, lemon zest, anise seeds while the Philippines’ polvoron, which is a candy, is made of toasted flour, milk powder, sugar and melted butter or shortening as binder. Curiously, mexican polvorones are small shortbread biscuits baked with ground almonds.

    Jan 18, 2007 | 7:04 pm

  4. Chinachix says:

    I’ve always asked family and friends to bring back a box of casuy polvoron from House of Polvoron (I believe they’re available at SM) whenver they visit… maybe I’ll ask them to go to Blue Kitchen next time!

    Jan 18, 2007 | 7:57 pm

  5. joey says:

    I really like Blue Kitchen too. They have a ton of great stuff…the Lamayo (excellent btw) tip I learned from here! I also like their boneless daing…I can seriously put away massive amounts of that stuff with rice. And bananacle! Boy, is that a taste from my past….And they have fig conserves!

    Jan 18, 2007 | 8:41 pm

  6. sister says:

    Polvoron from Hispanic kitchens is more like a baked sandie cookie, very crumbly and not so sweet. Phillipine polvoron recipes are vastly influenced by the tons of powdered milk and flour from the US Dept. of Agriculture that was distributed as aid after WWII. Filipinos were not great on drinking milk so using it in polvoron was a local idea given our fondness for sweets. Most polvoron recipes in the fifties consisted of toasted flour, powdered milk, sugar, and some melted margarine to bind the dry ingrdients for molding and did not require an oven for baking.

    Jan 18, 2007 | 9:20 pm

  7. rachelle says:

    polvoron from sasmuan is also good! they’ve got the original, pinipig, kasuy and other more flavors. they’re bigger than Blue Kitchen’s. P75 for around 8-10pcs. Their stall can be found in almost SM branches. this one’s from pampanga.

    Jan 18, 2007 | 9:37 pm

  8. tulip says:

    I agree Blue Kitchen’s polvoron is good but I couldn’t forget the best polvoron we occasionally receive from my mom’s friend who is a painter and isn’t good in the kitchen but ironically makes this delicious polvoron with pinipig. She makes it from time to time and sells it as part of fundraising, about Php 7.00/piece. She makes it by way of “sangag”.

    Jan 18, 2007 | 9:43 pm

  9. NYCMama says:

    My favorite polvoron ever was made by a lola who has already passed away, (and the recipe died with her!) I do know that she used KLIM powdered milk, and only KLIM. Anything else, and it was not masarap. She would send me bags here in the States, and to keep it longer, I would put them in a ziplock (papel de japon and all) and keep in freezer. They actually tasted yummy straight from the freezer. I had a cousin, who did not like polvoron molded and wrapped, so lola would put hers in can (the klim cans!) and she would eat it from the can with a spoon (and she would not share, so some of us requested our own cans from lola)

    Jan 18, 2007 | 11:40 pm

  10. Maria Clara says:

    Spain Polvorons are cookies like shorbread texture with nuts either almond or hazelnut and chocolate nibs for chocolate flavor in round form with a citrus background. I did not taste any milk hint from them instead they have a butter taste. Although their names are the same from ours, they cannot use the same passport when traveling as their frontal face photograph looks totally different and big taste variation. Like you, I love good polvoron but not the corrupted version where it is dominantly flour tasting. Sister is right as my mother told me same thing-the milk came from America in powdered form and we have to make something of it. I saw them mostly in our town fiesta in every houses wrapped in assorted colorful paper when I was a kid in original milk flavor and nothing else.

    Jan 19, 2007 | 1:40 am

  11. Ted says:

    NYCMama, the KLIM powdered Milk is the brand that i use and nothing else when i make these polvorons (NIDO and Carnation are both yukky). Don’t ever use margarine as a binder or it will come out dry after a couple of days. Liquified Salted butter is the best, the pinipig had to be roasted as well, and never, never, never burn the flour when you are dry roasting it (sangag).

    Jan 19, 2007 | 4:06 am

  12. sister says:

    Ted, I’ve never been a fan of margarine, “Star” or otherwise, pure butter is all I use in every baked product. I get European style high fat butter delivered by the case and occasionally transport it to Manila for Marketman. Margarine was simply used by most Filipino housewives in the fifties, and the flavour was very distinctive.I agree, melted butter is better. Haven’t made any polvoron since 1965 and even then we used butter in QC. And I do remember gold and brown KLIM, but that was preceded by gallons with USDA labels, that’s how old I am, or maybe Lola just never threw the cans away…
    Maria Clara is right, Spanish polvorons are very close to a shortbread cookie.

    Jan 19, 2007 | 4:32 am

  13. trishlovesbread says:

    sister, if you do need to find KLIM in the US, I’ve spotted those cans in various asian and latino stores in NJ and Philly.

    Jan 19, 2007 | 5:02 am

  14. Tiffany says:

    Check out the Pinoy caviar found in Blue Kitchen its really really good with crackers.

    Jan 19, 2007 | 9:19 am

  15. Socky says:

    I love everything from the Blue Kitchen. But for Polvoron, I get them from Goldilocks, specifically the Shaw branch as it is just across their plant. So they’re fresher. And the taste just reminds me of my childhood when, as kids, we made them ourselves!

    Jan 19, 2007 | 10:06 am

  16. ragamuffin girl says:

    Do try Lia’s Cakes in Season polvoron if you can get to her place MM and tell me how you like them. I like her dayap one, though she has mixed fruits and cashew as well ( I think). Her bakeshop is at 2nd Floor, Royale Place, right in front of Ever Commonwealth. Take a right to Commonwealth avenue from the QC Circle, go straight ahead (bypass the UP Diliman entrance forking to the right), go up the flyover to Fairview, once you are back in Commonwealth stay on the right side but avoid the slow-moving and irritating jeepneys. When you see a large McDonalds turn right, I think that street is Don Antonio. You will see the Ever mall on the left and Royale Place on the right.

    The shop sells avocado cake (a special recipe handed down with lots of pistachios), avocado sansrival, mango sansrival, mango cheesecake with passionfruit sauce, my fave orange rhum loaf, calamansi bars, durian cakes, low-sugar stuff, yummy chicken and mushroom empanadas etc…

    Jan 19, 2007 | 11:52 am

  17. mojito_drinker says:

    hi mm, when i lived in san francisco i used to see polvorones in the mexican shops in my neighborhood. tried them of course but they turned out to be shortbread-ish cookies like those described above…

    Jan 19, 2007 | 3:21 pm

  18. MGR says:

    Not a fan of the Spanish polvorons. My husband’s family(Spanish) also makes a “filipinized” version with the toasted flour, butter, powdered full cream milk and powdered sugar. It turns out a bit too dry and smooth for me. I guess that’s because they’re more accustomed to the Spanish smooth, crumbly version. They also just incorporate the butter and let it blend and melt inthe toasted flour, milk mixture whilst warm. Personally, our family have made polvorons too.. but with lots of melted butter and regular sugar as this adds crunch to the texture plus it holds better shape. I guess it’s just loving the kind of polvoron one grows up with.

    Jan 20, 2007 | 1:06 pm

  19. choy says:

    hurray for polvoron! i feel like popping two in my mouth all at once, and then try to whistle. i still can’t perfect the trick. darn. ok, two more.

    Jan 20, 2007 | 2:12 pm

  20. Marney says:

    Filipino polvoron is ten times better than its Spanish counterpart. I know I’ve tried them (my boyfriend is Spanish), I am now on the hunt for a filipino polvoron recipe so that I can I show my boyfriend how its really suppose to taste like:))) (of course he disagrees)

    Jan 21, 2007 | 1:32 am

  21. Lenore says:

    I used to buy my polvoron from the Union Bank guard (Rufino Tower branch). Rose, the secretary of my sister who is an ob-gyn, also sells them. Seems to be from the same source because they taste the same. I heard the one who does it used to make the polvoron of Goldilocks. Really good stuff! Only P50 per pack. Tried looking for other sources of good polvoron. The ones in Tiendesitas are major disappointments.

    Now, I want to formulate my own. Any suggestions on what kind of milk to use? Klim is not available anymore (or is it?) My mom’s househelp used to make good polvoron using S-26. But that’s super expensive.

    Jan 21, 2007 | 8:01 am

  22. negrosdude says:

    i love polvoron, unfortunately im borderline diabetic and i have to watch my sugar intake. and oh yes, i used to go gaga over blue kitchen’s rhum cake! i also like their gourmet tinapa and most other stuff. they now have some sugar free items but have yet to taste these. blue kitchen is owned by the wife of oye fores, malu and she (and her partners?) should be commended for establishing such a fine specialty shop stocked with very interesting, well-chosen and delicious goodies!

    Jan 21, 2007 | 12:22 pm

  23. Jacqui says:

    Here in the Bay Area’s Peninsula, my family’s favorite polvoron to date are the ones made by the House of Silvanas (now this just gave me a thought to search if MM posted about silvanas).
    MM, when I saw the title of this post, I excitedly scrolled down to see if you included a recipe. Polvoron is something I’d like to make for the kids’ snacks but I still have to perfect my method. Any suggestions?

    Jan 21, 2007 | 1:19 pm

  24. zap says:

    Ever tried chocolate-covered polvorons? Received some as a Christmas gift. Talk about double decadence….

    Jan 21, 2007 | 10:31 pm

  25. Hazel says:

    My officemate here in Kuwait just loves Goldilocks polvoron. Unfortunately, we can’t buy it from here and can only have it as pasalubong from balikbayans coming back from the Phils. We’ve tried those made and sold by kabayans and they all taste like flour. Can anyone give me the recipe for polvoron?

    Jan 21, 2007 | 11:44 pm

  26. Ted says:

    Lenore,Jacqui,Hazel: Below is my recipe handed down from my Mom.

    3 cups sifted, all purpose flour
    1 cup sifted KLIM powdered milk (No other substitute)
    3/4 cup sifted granulated sugar
    1/2 cup melted Butter (will taste yukky if you use margarine)
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup Pinipig (puffed in veggie oil and drained in paper towel)

    Toast flour in heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring constantly until golden brown, remove then cool. Combine all dry ingredients, combine vanilla extract to melted butter and mix thoroughly, then add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Form the mixture into polvoron mold and wrap them individually on japanese paper (hard to get here, so i use the thin gift paper wrapper inserts).

    Fortunately, I was able to get a polvoron tin mold at “Tatak Filipino”, and if i can get it here in the SFO Bay area, it should be available in most Palengke’s there. Often times, i don’t even wrap the polvorons anymore, i just form them and put them in plastic containers and freeze them.

    Jan 27, 2007 | 4:54 am

  27. cupcakediva says:

    I don’t know why most people like Goldilocks’ polvoron. Its yucky! For me it tastes “hilaw,” parang powdered milk and sugar lang as compared to our neighbor’s polvoron which is the best I’ve ever tasted. My neighbor’s polvoron is brownish in color due to a well-cooked (sangag) flour and it tastes wonderful. All ingredients are well-incorporated that you can’t find a distinct taste. Parang naubos mo na di mo pa rin mahabol yung lasa! Sarap!!

    Feb 10, 2007 | 6:11 pm

  28. Sarah says:

    Hi Ted, I don’t think I can get a Klim Powdered Milk here in Canada (Toronto). Can I substitute it with powdered cream
    ( coffee creamer) instead of a regular milk powder? Also, I need to purchase a Polvoron Tin Mold. Do you sell them? Let me know. Thanks!

    Apr 12, 2007 | 8:24 am

  29. mia says:

    tulip, lenore, cupcakediva: all your description of your best buy polvoron sounds similar to my fave polvoron as well. it’s brownish not maputla in color and it has pinipig. very reasonable price as well. sasmuan, goldilocks are far behind its taste. i have to check out blue kitchen’s polvoron though.

    Jun 17, 2007 | 9:31 pm

  30. chick says:

    sasmuan or goldilocks are good too!

    Aug 16, 2007 | 2:37 pm

  31. jann says:

    hey,i like polvoron very much but i dont know how to make it! i need to create a “new to the world” polvoron for my product development subject… my brand is goldilocks and i must create a new flavored polvoron for goldilocks, which at the same time, the polvoron that im going to make must be unique and new, no other stores has this kind of flavor in polvoron. i was thinking of putting mangoes in it, or cereal perhaps… i dont know pls. help me!!!!!!

    Aug 29, 2007 | 1:51 pm

  32. Marichu says:

    What is papel de Japon? I know it translates to Japanese paper, but does that mean it’s washi (origami paper)? Also, can I use regular gift wrap tissue as a wrapper? I’m sort of scared to use it since I don’t think it’s food-grade…

    Dec 16, 2007 | 5:06 pm

  33. Marketman says:

    Marichu, papel de japon, is that colored almost dissue like paper that department stores sometimes use to wrpa clothing before they put it in the shopping bags. If you are concerned, use colored cellophane or food grade clear wrap… :)

    Dec 16, 2007 | 5:10 pm

  34. kat says:

    hello ! My dad loves polvoron ,but he is diabetic. any suggestions on how to formulate the recipe. Thanks!!

    Jan 16, 2009 | 1:05 pm

  35. jhang says:

    hello any suggestion how to make flavored polvoron???mmmpphhh like cookies and cream??wat are the process??

    Jan 20, 2009 | 6:07 pm

  36. charlotte Tanoja says:

    Check out HOP House of Polvoron available in Glorietta, SM Megamall and Trinoma, also in major supermarkets. They make the best tasting polvoron! Definitely better than Goldilocks and Sasmuan. I find Blue kitchen polvoron dry. HOP are moist with melts in your mouth buttery and milky taste. They are soooo good!

    Jan 27, 2009 | 11:34 am

  37. patchgabzea says:

    hi! i had kitchen-tested all sorts of recipes for polvoron searched from the net. now i am proud to say i’ve come up with seven flavors like Ube, Mocha, Buko-Pandan, Mango, Melon, Langka and Pineapple… i take orders and some were already been brought as pasalubong in US, Dubai, Hongkong, China and Canada. for those who would like to order, you may send your requests thru email at patchgabzea@live.com…..

    Mar 25, 2009 | 10:25 pm

  38. paulo says:

    Also try polvoron from Panaderia Pantoja (from Batangas). I ate this everyday before. 6 pieces for P20 if I’m not mistaken. They have original and cookies and cream.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 2:44 pm


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