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.
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.
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