The First State Cookie in the U.S. Belongs to New Mexico

August  1, 2015

This southwestern recipe comes from The Gourmet Cookie Book, in which the editors deemed it the best cookie recipe of 1978.

Photo by Linda Xiao

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.

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  • Smaug
  • Kaz
  • Liz
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    Crystal McLaughlin
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Smaug January 8, 2016
You can get lard at the grocery store, but it's exceedingly bland; to get good lard, you probably need to go to a butcher- Mexican butchers can usually provide freshly rendered lard.
Kaz December 26, 2015
These look delicious - can't wait to try them! But I'll have to get ground Anise - and I thought I had EVERY spice in my cupboard! I'll be using coconut oil - thanks for the suggestion.

Question though - what is double-acting baking powder? I'm from New Zealand and have never heard of it!
Liz December 26, 2015
From what I gather double acting baking powder is just regular baking powder. Also, I have used both anise seed and anise extract. Good luck and enjoy !
Liz December 5, 2015
Crystal, it really is a science experiment! I want to try them with coconut and almond flour but I worry that would change the recipe completely. I guess I'm already straying from the traditional recipe anyway. Might as well try it! :)
Crystal M. December 4, 2015
These look great, I love anise. What can we use as a lard alternative?
Liz December 4, 2015
We have been making these for many years. I have never used whole wheat flour. Last year I made them with coconut oil and coconut sugar and they were pretty good. They aren't as flaky with the coconut oil, but still tender and delicious.
Crystal M. December 4, 2015
Liz, changing to coconut oil and coconut sugar is right up my alley. We've visitors this holiday, so I'm also replacing standard flours for gluten-free alternatives for baking which is turning out to be like a science experiment! :)