However you spell them, these little cookies are tasty. They are a traditional Mexican sugar cookie from New Mexico and I first came across them years ago in a Christmas Cookie book and made them then. I hadn’t made them in years but this year I wanted an assortment of cookies to have on hand so I went online to find the recipe as my book has since bit the dust. The anise seeds give them a distinctive taste — and the lard makes the texture different as well. They were a hit in my home and easy to keep munching on them.
The recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen website but I adapted it to reduce the Anise flavor. Anise has a very strong licorice smell and taste so if you are not a fan of this spice, then I would recommend reducing the amount as I did. Next year I may add Anise extract instead of whole seeds. Also substituted white wine for the Kahlua as I saw that used in another recipe.
Biscochitos – New Mexico’s State Cookie (recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen)
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1½ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Lard
¾ cups Sugar
½ teaspoon Anise Seed (ground or whole)
1 whole Egg
¼ cup white wine
1 cup sugar
¼ cup ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream lard with sugar and anise seeds until fluffy. Beat in egg until incorporated. On low speed, add milk and flour mixture to lard mixture until incorporated. Roll into balls about 1 inch in size. Toss in cinnamon and sugar topping. Press down slightly with a fork after placing on baking sheets. ** Note: they are traditionally cut out into shapes.
On greased baking sheets, bake for 13 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees F or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Yield: about 50 small cookies.