It’s a tradition on M’s side of the family to bake biscochitos every year for Christmas. We didn’t have time to do it at home, so we baked them on Christmas Day at my mom’s house in Pennsylvania. M took over the baking since I was fawning over my new sewing machine and AeroGarden.
You’d think that since they are the state cookie of New Mexico that there would be an official recipe. Not so! In New Mexico, there are as many different biscochito recipes as there are families baking them. This is the recipe M’s family uses:
2 C shortening
1 C sugar
3 t anise seed
6 C flour
3 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 C sugar
2 t cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the shortening and the sugar together. Add in the eggs and the anise seed and cream together more. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt with a heavy wooden spoon. Add enough apple juice to make dough just stick together, use hands to mix. (I think we usually use about 1/4 cup) Roll out on floured surface and cut with a shaped cookie cutter or a round biscuit cutter.
Bake on un-greased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Biscochitos should be soft, not crispy, when you bite into them.
Immediately after baking, while still hot, roll in “topping” mixture of cinnamon and sugar. (M begs you to please ignore his wearing of my mom’s apron.)
This recipe is for a large family, yielding about 8 dozen cookies, so we usually cut it in half when we’re not baking for a large crowd. Everyone we share these with falls in love with them and we end up making lots of tins to hand out to friends and family. Even Mr. Tucker loves a little biscochito treat. We leave the cinnamon sugar topping off of his, and we use a miniature cutter. He loves them just the same, though!
Did someone say biscochito?