Bizcochitos – My Favorite Christmas Cookie
It’s a New Mexico tradition. Like luminarias, tamales, and posole. Bizcochitos are a traditional Christmas cookie that I just love!! I know they aren’t everybody’s cup-of-tea, but I have to have them at Christmas.
The recipe I like to use comes from the Simply Simpatico cookbook put out by the Junior League of Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you are interested in “Authenic Southwestern Cuisine”, this cookbook is a keeper! All of the basic, traditional recipes for making authentic Mexican food are in this little gem of a cookbook, plus it has loads of other recipes that are interesting too.
If you don’t know, Bizcochitos are similar to a short-bread cookie with a mild anise (licorice) flavor that is covered with cinnamon sugar – YUM! They are easy to make and this recipe makes an abundance of beautiful little cookies (I like to make smaller, two-bite cookies). I believe traditionally, these cookies were often just cut into squares and baked.
Bizcochitos – (makes 4 dozen medium-size cookies)
1 cup lard or shortening
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon anise seed (or 1/2 tsp anise flavoring)
3 TBS sweet wine
1/4 cup sugar with 1 TBS cinnamon for sprinkling cookies
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream lard (shortening) and sugar until quite creamy. Add egg and beat until very fluffy. Sift together flour, baking power and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in wine and anise seed (or flavoring). Roll dought out on floured board at least 1/4″ thick (no thinner – you want them “plump”) and cut in plain squares or fancy shapes (I like mine as Stars). Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on tops of cookies before baking 12-15 minutes or until light brown.
If you’ve never tried Bizcochitos, I hope you will give this recipe a try and experience a traditional taste of a New Mexican Christmas! Feliz Navidad!