Biscochitos!!! Say this word to any Mexican and they will immediately begin to drool! I kid you not!
These cookies are some of the best you will ever taste. They are SO good that the New Mexico legislature named them the official state cookie in 1989! Of course, the cookies go further back when the Spanish brought the recipe over from Spain to Mexico many moons ago…
My New Mexico Zuniga family makes the best biscochitos ever. No lie…I always look forward to having a few at our family reunions…that is, if I can get to them in time! They are in high demand and you really have to grab one when you can or they are gone in a flash! Both my cousins Nelinda (aka Danda) and Hortencia (aka Wiro) each have their own unique recipes of this delicious cookie.
I’ve been doing a little research into the ingredients and decided to give this one a try for my annual cookie swap party. I always make Mexican Wedding Cake cookies and one other in case a friend comes to the party and doesn’t have time to make cookies. This year I decided on biscochitos as my “one other.”
One of the main ingredients in the recipe is lard. Yep, LARD! As my cousin Danda always says…when people see that the recipe takes one pound of lard, they get a little scared of these cookies! I’ve seen a number of variations to this cookie but substituting lard for anything else is a no-no. One of my cousins uses cloves in her recipe but I opted not to use this in mine. One uses brandy in hers while my other cousin does not. It’s interesting how a recipe can vary. I decided on using the brandy and I can tell you…wow!!! What a great flavor!
So let’s get started…
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the 6 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a bowl, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together 2 cups of lard and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Mix in 1 teaspoon of anise extract (I over poured a bit), and beat until fluffy. Stir in 2 eggs, one at a time. Add the sifted ingredients and 1/4 cup of brandy, and stir until well blended.
- Roll dough into balls.
- Mix together the 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon; roll the balls in the mixture.
- Place cookies onto baking sheets and gently press down on the mixture so they aren’t perfectly round.
- Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bottoms are lightly browned.
Que bueno!!! Here are a few photos of the prep work in a slideshow!