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This southwestern recipe comes from The Gourmet Cookie Book, in which the editors deemed it the best cookie recipe of 1978.
Here's what they had to say about it:
Americans were just beginning to become interested, once again, in their own regional cookies. A piece about the joys of Santa Fe mentioned that New Mexico boasted the first state cookie in the U.S., the bizcochito. It's the most tender creation you can imagine, with an extraordinarily flaky texture and an unusual flavor that comes from the combination of fresh lard, whole-wheat flour, and ground anise seed. Think ahead: The cookies are wonderful when they come out of the oven, but the definitely improve with age.
A few notes on the recipe, courtesy of the Gourmet editors:
1. The lard, which can be found in supermarkets with the vegetable oil, should be at room temperature.
2. Use ground anise.
- 1 cup lard (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground aniseed
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup brandy or water
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon