Last night, A Witch’s Kitchen hit #10 in Kindle sales of children’s books about cooking! Today it’s down to #26, but that’s not going to stop me from celebrating! So each day this week, up until Christmas, I will share with you one of my favorite holiday recipes. Remember also that nearly all the recipes from A Witch’s Kitchen are available in my free cookbook, Millie’s Recipes.
Today’s recipe is a traditional holiday cookie from New Mexico, biscochitos. This is my abuela’s own recipe, with a few of my own notes added. I wish I had time today to make some and take pictures for you, but here’s the Pinterest page on biscochitos to whet your appetite. My abuelo always used to take the last scraps of biscochito dough to sculpt little people and animals, often held together with toothpicks. I swear, they tasted the best of all!
2 cups vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
Red wine to taste
3 Tablespoons anise
6 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Cream together the shortening and 1 cup sugar. (If you are feeling bold, you can substitute lard for the shortening.) Beat in one egg at a time. Stir in anise, then add the wine. (I recommend burgundy.) Add up to 1/4 cup, drop by drop, until the batter is creamy but not liquid. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg batter and mix thoroughly.
Roll out batter to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out cookies with cookie cutters. Round, oval, and diamond shapes are traditional. This batter also works very well in a cookie press. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until just browned. While cookies are baking, combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. When you remove the cookies from the oven, immediately toss them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Makes 15-20 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookie (a cookie press gets you closer to 20).
¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!