These Biscochitos, which are Mexican sugar cookies, have been a Christmas tradition at our house for over 30 years; I sometimes make them for Cinco de Mayo, too. These cookies are simple, and the texture is light, crisp, and flaky. They are better after they have been stored in an airtight container for several days, since the cinnamon and anise will flavor the flaky layers. In fact, they keep for several months; this is one of the first cookies I make before Christmas. The original recipe came from Emily Ramairez, who worked at my Mexican restaurant in the 70’s. Emily’s family had been making these cookies for generations, and when you taste them, you’ll know why.
It’s important to crush the anise seed so the full flavor comes out; it can be done by hand in a mortar and pestle, or you can purchase an inexpensive coffee grinder and use it only for spices; it makes grinding whole spices much easier. Emily sometimes substitutes whiskey for the water when she wants to vary the flavor of these cookies.
If you want to decorate the cookies with frosting, you can add the 2 teaspoons cinnamon from the topping ingredients to the dough and omit the 1 1/2 cups sugar. Cut the dough into holiday shapes and decorate them with Buttercream Frosting.
10 dozen 2” cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons anise seed, crushed
6 cups flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Line several baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, and water; mix well until thoroughly combined.
- Stir in crushed anise seed.
- Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt; mix until a thick dough is formed.
- Roll out on a lightly floured pastry cloth to 3/8" thickness.
- Cut into 2” rounds or small holiday shapes.
- Mix the 1 1/2 cups sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon on a large plate.
- Dip the cut cookies in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then place them on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
- Transfer the cookies to cooling racks.
- When cool, store them in an airtight container.
- Although these biscochitos are good freshly baked, they are much better after 3 or 4 days as the spices will permeate the cookies.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 73 Calories from Fat 33
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 45% Protein 5% Carb. 50%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 11 mg
Sodium 64 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 1%