Biscochos

biscochos (Mexican wedding cookies)

This is one of our family’s traditional Christmas cookies. My mom has been making these since she was 15 years old. Every year at Christmas, my grandma would ask my mom to make some because she loved the aroma of cinnamon during the holidays. These fragile cookies melt in your mouth and contain the exotic addition of anise with a hint of cinnamon.

My mom also made these delicious cookies for many memorable occasions since then. They are a Mexican tradition for weddings, quinceñeras, and Navidad.

She used to make these cookies with me, my brother, and sister when we were little. She would roll out the dough and then we’d carefully cut the dough into diamond shapes using a paring knife. Today she uses a cookie press which makes for a lighter cookie. Either way they are delicioso and just as beautiful to display as they are scrumptious.

She still makes them at Christmas for gift giving. It is a very popular cookie at Christmas time with Mexican Hot Chocolate or Champurrado.

Biscochos

These cookies are just as beautiful to display as they are delicious to eat. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (freshly ground when possible)
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 pound lard or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup wine, orange juice or water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons anise seed

Sugar and Cinnamon Coating:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sift flour with the next four (4) dry ingredients.
  3. Cream the lard or shortening until smooth. Add sugar, egg, vanilla, and liquid. Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture. Add anise seeds at this time and knead together. If mixture is too sticky add some flour.
  4. Roll out the dough onto a floured board or counter and cut out biscochos using a small-floured cookie cutter or you can put the dough into a cookie shooter using your favorite design. You will have to re-knead and roll out the dough several times until you have used all of the dough. Place the biscochos onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes.
  5. While biscochos are baking, mix the sugar and cinnamon “coating” ingredients in a wide bowl. Set aside for coating baked biscochos. After baking, coat biscochos with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
More recipes available at muybuenocookbook.com This recipe is also published in Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

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Photography by Jeanine Thurston