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Christmas is cookie season, and in New Mexico that means it’s time for biscochitos. Biscochito is the diminutive form of bizcocho, which loosely translates to “biscuit” in Spanish. Invented in New Mexico when it was still a Spanish colony, today these anise- and cinnamon-flavored treats are the official state cookie.
Come December, you’ll find plates stacked high with the iconic cookies at every social gathering — and you’ll probably also hear people debating which family recipe is the best. Satiate your seasonal sweet tooth with the following version.
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups lard
2 tsp. anise seed
1 tsp. vanilla
6 cups flour
3 fresh eggs
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 – 1/2 cup brandy (can be substituted with rum or orange juice)
1/4 tsp. salt
cinnamon and extra sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Measure and combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Cream lard with sugar and anise seeds.
4. Beat eggs until light and fluffy.
5. Add flour mixture and liquid. Knead by hand or with mixer’s kneading hook until well-mixed. In essence, what you want to do here is bring ingredients together gently, as you would in making a piecrust.
6. Roll out dough in batches to 1/4-inch thick and cut with cookie cutters, being careful to maximize the area of dough used. Dust cookies with cinnamon sugar mixture and place on prepared baking sheet.
7. Bake each batch for 10 minutes until lightly browned.
Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine.
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