Bizcochito or biscochito is a crispy cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon. It was developed by Hispanic residents of New Mexico and southern Colorado who trace their ancestry back to the first Spanish colonists. The recipe for making the cookie has been influenced not only by local and indigenous customs, but also by cookie recipes brought to New Mexico with immigrants from other countries. It is served at special celebrations such as wedding receptions, baptisms and religious holidays, especially Christmas. It is usually eaten with morning coffee or milk, and after lunch and dinner when it is served as a dessert. The cookie is little known outside the Southwest.
There is no "official" recipe for making bizcochitos. Each region, and often each family, has its own distinct recipe for baking the cookies, including some that add wine or whiskey. Below are two basic recipes.
The Gonzales Recipe (Southern New Mexico)
- 1 pound (500 g) PURE lard
- 1½ cups (150 g) sugar
- 2 tsp. (20 g) anise seed (crushed)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 6 cups (400 g) flour
- 3 tsp. (30 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp. (10 g) salt
- cinnamon sugar for topping
- Cream the lard, sugar, and anise in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat well.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Alternately add flour to creamed mixture until a stiff dough has formed.
- Knead dough slightly and pat or roll to a ¼ to ½ inch (.5 to 1cm) thickness.
- Cut into desired shapes.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Dust, while still hot, with cinnamon sugar.
- Let cool.
The Lucero Recipe (Northern New Mexico)
|Butter, softened||125 g||½ cup|
|Granulated sugar||125 g||½ cup|
|1 egg yolk||-||-|
|Milk||15 ml||1 tablespoon|
|All-purpose flour||375 g||1½ cups|
|Baking powder||5 ml||1 teaspoon|
|Anise seed||2.5 ml||½ teaspoon|
|Ground cinnamon||1.25 ml||¼ teaspoon|
|Cinnamon sugar for topping||-||-|
- Heat oven to 180°C (350°F). Combine butter and ½ cup sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg yolk and milk; beat until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, baking powder, anise seed and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon; beat until mixture forms a ball.
- Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 6.5 cm (¼-inch) thickness. Cut with 2.5 cm (1-inch) cookie cutters.
- Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and ¾ teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl.
- Put one face of the cookie into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place one inch apart, with the cinnamon sugar-covered side up, onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Let cool.