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Author Notes: "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." -Gourmet Magazine
1. The lard, which can be found in supermarkets with the vegetable oil, should be at room temperature.
2. Use ground anise.
Recipe adapted slightly from The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year, 1941-2009 (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). —Food52
Makes: 3 dozen cookies
cup lard (room temperature)
cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
egg, lightly beaten
teaspoons ground aniseed
cups whole-wheat flour
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoons double-acting baking powder
cup brandy or water
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, cream together the lard and 3/4 cup sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the lightly beaten egg and aniseed.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture into the lard mixture along with the brandy or water and mix until the dough is smooth.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough (you may want to work with it in pieces) to 1/8-inch thick. With a 3-inch decorative cutter, cut out the cookies. Put the cookies 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets.
- Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle generously over cookies.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool, and store them in an airtight container for 5 days before serving.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!