Prep 3 hrs 40 mins
Cook 30 mins
Biscochitos are the state cookie of New Mexico. They traditionally use lard, but in this version from Wayne Harley Brachman's Cakes and Cowpokes, they are made with butter. I made this to serve at a Posada Celebration in the shape of stars - beautiful and delicious! (Chilling and rolling times are included in the preparation time).
- 2 cups flour
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground aniseed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground aniseed
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- Put the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the anise in a large bowl and whisk to blend.
- In a small bowl, cut the butter into pea-sized pieces.
- Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
- Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and ice water and mix with your fingers just until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, take egg-sized pieces of the dough and smear them away from you with the heel of your hand into 6-inch streaks. (This step helps to achieve the layered texture of the authentic cookie without using lard).
- Scrape up all the streaks of dough and pile them on top of one another to form a disk.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- On a portable (this will be refrigerated again), lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
- Refrigerate for 30 miutes, or until firm.
- Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a non-stick cookie sheet.
- With a cookie cutter, cut out 2 1/2-inch circles (I use stars), and place them on the cookie sheets about 2-inches apart.
- Chill the cookies 10 minutes before baking.
- Reroll the scraps of dough and cut out more cookies, chilling before baking.
- Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1 Tablespoon ground anise and 2 Tablespoon sugar together in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of the sugar mixture over the cookies.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
- Cool on the pan on a wire rack.
- May be store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for up to 5 days.