Biscochitos – New Mexico Cookies

4.9/5 - (8 votes)

Biscochitos – New Mexico Cookies are just that. But they are cookies with a difference. Lard is used as the fat for these wonderful cookies, though I have seen a few recipes that suggest butter. The lard gives them such a tender crumb. So they are similar to shortbread, but with different taste due to the lard. They also contain a generous amount of cracked anise seeds. That is anise seeds that have been slightly crushed. To crack, or crush, my seeds I placed them in a zipper bag and pressed hard on them as i used my rolling pin.

These cookies are very popular in New Mexico for holidays, celebrations and festivities. As well as the anise they are often flavoured with orange juice or sweet white wine or something similar. Then they also have some light cinnamon sugar on the top as well.


The cookies are very easy to make and, apart from chilling the dough for a while, they don’t take very long to make. As they are used for holidays etc, as mentioned above, they have be shaped in a variety of ways.

So the process is easy, just cream lard and sugar together. Then add egg, white wine/orange/brandy and some vanilla. When they are combined the flour with raising agent, salt and anise seeds are slowly mixed it. Enough water is used to pull everything into a soft dough. Then chill the dough in the fridge. After that it can be rolled out and, shaped and baked.

For my cookies I simply used a round cookie cutter to shape my cookies.

My Bake


I baked my Biscochitos for 11 minutes, until the edges began to colour. Then I took them out of the oven and about three minutes later I sprinkled them with some cinnamon sugar.

After carefully transferring them to a rack I allowed them to cool. Then it was time to sample the cookies. They really were very good indeed. They were nice and crisp, with a tender crumb and a simply delicious flavour. I used sweet white wine which combined very well with the star of the show, anise. I could also just about taste the cinnamon too. All the flavours complemented each other and none were overpowering. All in all these are great cookies.

Biscochitos – New Mexico Cookies – Video

Another wonderful cookie or biscuit is Alfajores.

Biscochitos – New Mexico Cookies

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Biscuits, CookiesCuisine: USA – New MexicoDifficulty: Easy


Prep time(incl. chilling)




Cooking time



Perfect New Mexican Cookies


  • Cookies
  • 256g(1 1/4 cups) lard – see note below

  • 200g(1 cup) caster sugar

  • 375g(2 1/3 cups + 3 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 30ml(2 tbsp) sweet white wine, orange juice or brandy

  • upto 60ml(4 tbsp) water ( I used 15ml/1 tbsp)

  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)

  • 6g(2 tsp) cracked anise seeds(bash them to crack them)

  • 2g(1/2 tsp) baking powder

  • 1.5g(1/4 tsp) salt

  • 5ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract

  • To coat
  • 150g(3/4 cup) caster sugar

  • 1.5g(1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon


  • Cream the lard and sugar for about 3 minutes, until very well combined.
  • Add the egg, vanilla and sweet white wine and mix until fully combined.
  • Place the baking powder, salt and seeds into the flour and mix to distribute throughout.
  • Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, into wet mixture and gently mix until it all clumps together.
  • Add water, a little at a time, until the mixture has formed a soft dough( I needed just 15ml).
  • Tip the dough out onto a work surface and divide into two pieces, for ease of use later.
  • Form each piece of dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap then chill for at least one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F and line some baking trays with parchment paper.
  • Roll out each disc of dough, on a floured surface, to a thickness of 5mm(1/4 inch) and then use a cookie cutter of about 2 1/2 inches(6.5 cm) to cut out discs.
  • Transfer the discs to a baking tray, leaving a gap of about 1 inch between each.
  • Bake the cookies in the oven for between 10 and 12 minutes, until the edges begin to colour.
  • Mix the cinnamon into the sugar.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven leave them for 3 minutes then sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar(or gently dip them in the sugar), and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • You can use butter or shortening instead of lard, but the cookies will be slightly different.

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