You’ll find this tender, flaky cookie everywhere in New Mexico this time of year. Its sweet simplicity dates from a time early in New Mexico’s history when creative and loving cooks took the few ingredients available to them and produced celebration. It is, hands down, my family’s favorite Christmas cookie. The holidays wouldn’t be the same without them.
I suppose you could use butter or shortening instead of lard, and maybe orange juice or apple juice instead of the brandy. You could even leave out the anise seed, if you wanted, and you’d probably wind up with a very nice sugar cookie. But you wouldn’t have Biscochitos. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 350°
- 1 pound lard
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 Tablespoon anise seed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 6 cups flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brandy (or whisky, or rum, or sherry…)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Cream lard, sugar, and anise seed in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and add alternately with brandy until stiff dough has formed. Knead dough slightly and roll out to ¼ to ½ inch thick. Cut dough into desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl an lightly dust each cookie with the mixture. Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned
Makes about 5 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.