New Mexican Bizcochitos

Bizcochitos are sweet, buttery and flaky.

Bizcochitos are slightly zesty, spicy and tart.

Bizcochitos are the state cookie of New Mexico, and this is a title that I strongly support.

I mean, really. These are serious times - people need to know what’s what.

And information is king.

Perhaps you’re considering a move across state lines. Or you’re thinking about taking a job in a different time zone. Maybe your son or daughter is contemplating heading off to college on the opposite coast.

Wouldn’t you prefer to be making these life-altering decisions armed with the knowledge of what types of cookies you are transitioning to and from?

Let’s say that you are choosing between a move to Georgia and a move to Alabama. Doesn’t this decision become infinitely easier if you know that you’re choosing between a gorgeous, peachy-keen, sugar-dusted cookie and a fruitcake-like, slightly stale confection? (No offense to Alabama -I think we know who’s who here- this example was merely for illustrative purposes.)

College in Connecticut versus New York might be an extremely difficult choice, but it’s a breeze once you know that you’re picking between a nutty, soft, caramel cookie and a lumpy, dry, oatmeal, thing.

A job in Kansas versus a job in Missouri becomes a no-brainer when you replace Kansas with chocolate butterscotch drops and Missouri with dried prune cookies.

Duh.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

So much critical information missing from so many crucial decisions.

It’s time to start fighting for our rights!

Can we get some state cookie letter-writing campaigns going?

Let’s place a state cookie call or ten to our congressional representatives.

We need to start demanding the cookie information that is so rightfully ours.

In the interim, I salute you, New Mexico.

You’re a pioneer, you’re forward-thinking, and you’ve got your priorities straight.

Today, in your honor:  Bizcochitos.

Bizcochitos

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. + 1/2 c. white sugar, granulated
1 c. shortening
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. anise seed
1 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger, ground

In a large bowl, cream shortening and 3/4 cups sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla, beating until blended.

In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, ginger, salt together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture, beating until the ingredients are blended. Note that this cookie dough is extremely stiff and as you add the last of the dry ingredients it will likely become necessary to knead by hand.

Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, knead in the zest and anise seed.

Using your hands, shape the dough into a rough log shape and wrap in parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Once the dough is chilled through, preheat oven to 350°.

Roll dough out to a thickness of approximately 1/4″ and cut the cookies out using a lightly-floured cookie cutter (I used a 2″ fluted circular cutter).

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the cookies. Bake in batches on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 12-14 minutes – finished cookies will be slightly golden at their edges and on their bottoms. Remove to cool.

YIELD:  40 cookies

Comments

  1. 31

    says

    These look fabulous. I don’t know what NY’s state cookie is, but I’m perfectly willing to try New Mexico’s–just for comparison purposes, understand.

  2. 34

    says

    I went bonkers for these cookies when a friend, who was raised in New Mexico, brought these to a holiday potluck. They truly just melt in your mouth. She used lard in hers, for even more richness. Mmmm.

  3. 35

    says

    These look fantastic, and your photos are gorgeous. I grew up in Arizona, and they apparently don’t have a state cookie… perhaps we can borrow yours?

  4. 37

    says

    Ha ha! I just moved from Birmingham to VA. I must admit I would go for peaches any day :) Anyhow, these look amazing! I absolutely love your baking style and how you stay within the realms of southwestern flavors.

  5. 38

    doxielover says

    These sound amazing but I have to ask – must you roll them out? Once you’ve shaped the dough into a log and chilled it, couldn’t you just slice and bake? I am not a good ‘roller’ LOL. I know the edges wouldn’t be as pretty as when using a fluted cutter, but taste is what I’m after anyway.

    • 39

      Meagan says

      You can absolutely slice instead of rolling! And if you are able to shape a well-formed log prior to chilling, your slices will actually be just as neat and lovely as if you had cut them with a cookie cutter. Go for it!

  6. 40

    Lisa Thompson says

    I’m from New Mexico… and we LOVE our state cookie! We’re all slightly chubby but once you taste this cookie, you’ll know why. Teehee. Actually, your recipe is very different from the traditional recipe but I am eager to try yours. All New Mexican Grandmas who make this cookie will tell you that you MUST use lard. Butter or shortening are a “no-no”. I would love to prove them wrong. Also, we don’t use ginger and we typically use some sort of booze (bourbon, rum etc.) The orange ginger flavor with the anise sounds amazing. I’ll make some this weekend. :D
    Great photos and write up too!

  7. 42

    says

    I would LOVE to get hold of some of those raspberry habanero cookies. Aside from driving or flying there (from Houston), is there a way to order them? Can you (Dee) reveal the bakery?

  8. 43

    Dee says

    There is a guy in Las Cruces, New Mexico that makes Raspberry Habanero Biscochitos and I have to limit how many boxes I buy because they are addictive and not as hot as you would think!

  9. 46

    says

    The pics in what was probably going to be my next post are uncannily similar. Ok. Your photos are beautiful while I try to take mine at dusk with children climbing up both legs. And the cookies are different. But it was a weird feeling seeing them. You always bake up a storm.

  10. 48

    says

    I was disappointed to find out that we do not have a state cookie. I really thought we would have something that was either macadamia nut or pineapple-flavored, or maybe a combination of both. Maybe I need to start a campaign?

    I do love the sound of your Bizcochitos. Congratulations to NM on having such a great cookie as their state cookie.

  11. 50

    says

    Actually, it’s kind of comforting that some states have LAME state cookies. I hope that is because their elected officials are dealing with something more important. Changing a state cookie is a great project for a 6th grader or some middle school student trying to learn more about their state heritage and politics. ;)

  12. 54

    says

    All you had to say was “spicy.” A friend’s mom sent him some shortbread cookies last week, and I was pleasantly surprised when I popped it in my mouth and realized that there was some serious spice action going on in there. I agree with Becki Sue – the dough is beautiful! And I love the sugar on top.

    I got kind of curious and googled my own state cookie (Louisiana), but we don’t have one. But apparently there were some attempts in our senate to make the tea cake cookie official.

  13. 56

    Becki Sue says

    I just love the orange and black flecks in the dough. Beautiful. I’m going to have to try these, even though I’m a Michiganian and have no plans moving. :-)

  14. 57

    says

    Virginia’s state cookie is the chocolate chip cookie and I am happy with that, but I am intrigued with this cookie of yours. The combination of orange zest, ginger, and cinnamon make me think road trip! Or maybe I will just make them at home. Great post.

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