Biscochitos are a traditional New Mexican holiday cookie; a subtly porky confection made from lard, with anise seeds and brandy or rum. In December, biscochitos comprise maybe thirty percent of the diet of the average New Mexican. It is considered bad form to go to a social gathering or leave one without having brought your own batch and sampled that of your friends and coworkers.
- Yield:makes approximately 5 dozen cookies
- 1 cup lard
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup brandy or rum
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
In stand mixer, cream together lard and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. With mixer running on low, add egg, vanilla extract, brandy, and anise seeds and mix until homogeneous. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix just until dough forms into cohesive ball.
Form dough into two cylinders about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Chill for 2 hours or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze logs tightly wrapped for several months. Defrost in refrigerator for 1 day before using.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl and set aside. Cut cylinders into 1/4 inch disks and on ungreased cookie sheets leaving 1/2-inch gap between cookies. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Dip rim of each cookie into cinnamon sugar mixture. Let cool on racks and store at room temperature in air-tight container for up to 5 days.