Biscochitos are anise and cinnamon flavored shortbread cookies and are the state cookie of New Mexico! As a matter of fact, New Mexico was the first state to adopt an official "state cookie" back in 1989!
This cookie is a Christmas tradition in New Mexico but also shows up at other special occasions like weddings, baptisms and quinceneras.
Biscochitos led me to purchase two ingredients that I have never purchased before... see if you can guess which two?!
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons anise seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound lard, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons rum, bourbon or sweet white wine
for the topping:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- sift together the flour, baking powder, anise and salt
- beat the lard in an electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar. cream until extremely fluffy and light, about 8 minutes
- add the egg, followed by the bourbon, and continue beating
- mix in the dry ingredients, adding about one-third of the mixture at a time. stop the mixer as you make each addition, and beat no longer than necessary to incorporate the dry ingredients. a stiff pie-crust type of dough is what you are seeking
- chill the dough for about 15 minutes for easy handling
- use a cookie press to form the biscochitos or roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with small cookie cutter
- place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets
- preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 10 - 12 minutes until just set and pale golden.
- while the cookies bake, stir together the topping ingredients
- when the cookies come out of the oven, cool for just a minute or two on the baking sheets, then gently dunk the top of each in the cinnamon-sugar topping
- transfer to absorbent paper to finish cooling
- Biscochitos, tightly covered, will keep for at least a week.
Note: for authentic Biscochitos, you must use Lard