Biscochitos (pronounced be-sko-cheeto) boast not just historical significance for being declared the first official state cookie in Union back in the late 1800s but also familial significance thanks go New Mexicans priding themselves on their clan’s unique riff on biscochitos (also known as bizcochitos) ever since. The classic Christmas cookie classic is traditionally rolled and cut into shapes, although those pressed for time or bored by such efforts can instead shape the dough into a log and simply slice and bake the rounds. The form is far less critical to the biscochitos experience than the flavor, which is where the truth behind this tradition lies—not too sweet with a faint touch of anise.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Yes, Lard In A Cookie Note
Yes, lard. In a cookie. We swear. It’s the rendered pig fat that lends the biscochitos the trademark phenomenally flaky texture.
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes about 6 dozen
Special Equipment: 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookie cutters
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups lard, preferably leaf lard
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds, toasted*
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly butter 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
- 2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.
- 3. In a large bowl, beat the lard with an electric or stand mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs, and anise seeds and beat until well incorporated.
- 4. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and combine this with the lard mixture. Add the brandy and mix thoroughly.
- 5. On a generously floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. Sprinkle the cookie shapes with the cinnamon sugar mixture and place the cookies on the prepared sheets, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- 6. Transfer the biscochitos to wire racks and let cool completely. (Store the cookies in airtight containers at room temperature or in the freezer.)
*Toasting Seeds Note
- To toast anise seeds (or, for that matter, any seeds, including cumin, coriander, caraway, and so forth) place them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Allow to toast for about 2 1/2 minutes, stirring or shaking the skillet often, until fragrant. Immediately remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the seeds to a plate to stop the cooking.