Author Notes: Biscochitos (beez-coh-chee-tohs) are a melt-in-your-mouth-can’t-have-just-one shortbread cookie. They are flavored with cinnamon-sugar sweetness and aromatic anise seed. But vegetarians be warned (yes, I said vegetarians, not vegans) these cookies contain lard.
During Christmastime my family enjoys meals of Tamales, Christmas Tacos, Posole, Menudo, Red and Green Chile, topping-off each meal with a few Biscochitos dunked in a cup of coffee or served alongside a glass of wine. Every year my grandmother would bake dozens upon dozens of these sparkling cookies in the shape of diamonds, stars, angels, bells and simple circles. A plate of golden brown Biscochitos would be waiting for visitors who’d stop for good conversation and hot coffee.
During college my mom and my nina would each send me bubble-wrapped boxes of biscochitos. Now that I have a kitchen it’s time I bake my own. The recipe I share with you is a combination of my grandmother’s, my mother’s and my nina’s recipes. You may substitute vegetable shortening for lard and water for wine but I guarantee that the cookies will not be nearly as delicious.
Serves: 9-10 dozen small cookies
cups lard (one 1 lb. box)
teaspoons anise seed
cups all-purpose flour
cup sweet white wine (plus extra 1/4 cup, if needed)
- Cream together the lard and 1 1/2 cups sugar.
- In a separate bowl beat the eggs and anise, add to the lard/sugar mixture. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the lard mixture a third at a time. Knead well with your hands until dough sticks together, it should be slightly sticky but able to form a firm dough ball. If the dough is too dry add more wine a teaspoon at a time, if it is too sticky add more flour a teaspoon at a time.
- Divide the dough into three large balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight so the dough becomes firm and manageable.
- The next day preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough with a liberally floured rolling pin on a liberally floured surface 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes.
- Dip one side of each cookie into cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on cookie sheet sugar side up.
- To ensure all cookies bake evenly, bake each shape cookie in batches of alike shapes and sizes. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bottom of the cookies are brown and the tops are golden.
- Remove from oven, and while still warm dip in cinnamon-sugar again, dipping them while they are warm is key to getting the cinnamon sugar to stick. Store in a cool-dry place or freeze for up to six months.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!