Biscochitos (New Mexican Christmas Cookies)

IcarusPhoenix

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Since @E_just_E was taking a little Christmas cookie tour of Europe, I suppose it would be a good idea to add New Mexico's own Official State Cookie (yes, we actually passed a law on this), the biscochito, which is generally associated with Christmas, but also appropriate for other important celebrations (weddings, birthdays, etc.). Though lard is almost always the central ingredient, there are many variations to some of the core ingredients; almost all will include varying levels of anise, and the cinnamon/sugar topping is not really optional, but variations in liquid ingredients, sweetener, or flour quantity are normal, and occasionally even the lard is replaced with shortening by those wishing to pretend they're making a "healthier" version. I personally dislike anise, but find the more subtle flavor of the extract rather than the seeds to be perfect, even if it is harder to find. Below is my personal variation on the recipe:

Ingredients
6 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 pound lard
1 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract
2 eggs
3/8 cup brandy (cognac or a very dark Spanish brandy preferred)

Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cream lard, sugar, and anise extract together. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour and brandy and mix well. Roll dough out on a floured surface to between 1/4" and 1/2" thickness (thiner is better) and cut out shapes (personally, I just use a round cutter for these most of the time). Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon, and lightly dust the tops of each cookie. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes at 350º F until lightly browned.

IMG_1261.JPG
 
Last edited:

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
I'm making these! I remember them from a very long time ago, when traveling in the Southwest at Christmas time. We stopped at a house and they gave us some of these. Very, very good! Lard is good stuff, too, by the way. :thumbsup: Slandered by Crisco!
 

Bee

Captain
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
I remember these cookies as a child in the SW!! I love them! We did not like the explosion of the anise seeds, either, so my auntie would use a mortar and pestle and grind them down to a fine powder.
 

JohnW.

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Location
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I'm making these! I remember them from a very long time ago, when traveling in the Southwest at Christmas time. We stopped at a house and they gave us some of these. Very, very good! Lard is good stuff, too, by the way. :thumbsup: Slandered by Crisco!
Lard rules and knows all...Lard is our friend...Long live lard. I think if a recipe calls for lard and shortening is used instead, a difference (not for the good) is noticed. I mean come on, people aren't using the stuff because it has fewer vowels and is monosyllabic. :smile:
 
Top