Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
Usually every Christmas gathering in New Mexico serves these wonderful
biscochitos cookies. Biscochitos are said to be native to New Mexico,
where they are traditionally made with lard. Other names
associated with biscochitos are names such as Polvorones or
Mexican Wedding Cookies. In Spain they are called Mantecosos. As the "Original
Mexican Wedding Cookie" these gourmet treats were cut in the
diamond shape because the diamond signified purity for the
wedding. They were then sprinkled with white powdered sugar so
that everything would be white.
The biscochito (bees-ko-CHEE-toh) was declared New Mexico's official
State Cookie with House Bill 406 in 1989. The battle over the state cookie was not about adopting it but
how to spell it. Several lawmakers got on the House floor to
press for the "s" or "z". Eventually the Senate returned it as "bizcochito".
Don't be afraid of the anise in these cookies. The cinnamon sugar
topping mellows the anise flavor. The combination of shortening and butter is a good substitute. These cookies are flaky and
light, with an ultra-thin crisp crust. Traditionally
Fleur-de-lis Cookie Cutters are used for the shape of the cookies, but you may use your favorite cookie cutters.
Check out another version of the
Bizcochitos - Anise Seed Cookie recipe.
Cookie Recipes and
Secrets To Making Perfect Cookies. Also learn
How To Have A Successful Holiday Cookie Exchange or Cookie Swap.
Biscochitos - Anise Seed Cookies Recipe
Cuisine: Mexican, New Mexico
Yields: 5 1/2 dozen
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 12 min
Cinnamon-Sugar Topping (see recipe below)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
vegetable shortening, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated
egg, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 to 3 teaspoons anise seeds, finely ground in a spice grinder and sifted
2 2/3 cups all-purpose
Make Sugar-Cinnamon Mixture; set aside.
With your electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar
until light and fluffy. Add whole egg and egg yolk, and anise seeds; beat well.
Sift together the flour, baking powder,
and salt. Add to the creamed shortening mixture. Do not beat the dough but gently stir it. Divide
the dough into (4) four portions and chill, tightly wrapped, for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
NOTE: This dough gets sticky and soft as soon as it warms up, making it
a little tricky to roll out. Try to handle the dough as little as possible.
I prefer to work with a small amount of dough at a time and simply work
quickly, rolling and cutting before it has a chance to warm up. Have
your baking sheets and all your tools set and ready to go before you
start. If your dough does warm up, slide it onto a cookie sheet and
place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes until it is cool and firm
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Working with one (1) portion of the dough at a time, roll dough with a rolling pin on a lightly-floured surface to about 1/2-inch thick.
Either cut dough into small shapes or use 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Place the biscochitos on ungreased cookie sheets, about 1-inch apart.
Gather up any unused dough scraps, form into a ball, chill briefly, and then roll. NOTE:
The dough is very tender and is easiest to work with when it is kept cool. Repeat with remaining three (3) portions of dough and
unused dough scraps until all the dough is made into biscochitos. Keep the cookies chilled while your work.
Using a pastry brush, brush each cookie with a little cool water to help the Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture
stick. Sprinkle generously with the prepared sugar mixture.
Bake approximately 12 minutes or until puffed and barely colored on the edges. Remove from oven and
transer the biscochito cookies to wire cooling racks to cool. NOTE: Be careful as these are fragile cookies.
Store in a tightly-sealed container or bag. They will last for several weeks.
Makes 5 1/2 dozen (2-inch cookies).
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a wide, shallow dish or plate.