The Washington Post


Biscochitos 60.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2019 Dec 1, 2017

These not-too-sweet, anise-flavored Mexican treats happen to be New Mexico’s official state cookie. Lard makes for an especially crisp and light texture, but vegetable shortening can be used instead.

You’ll need one or two 2-inch cookie cutters, preferably stars and half-moons. And you may get an even greater yield depending on which shapes you use.

Need more inspiration? Check out our Holiday Cookie Generator, featuring more than 300 recipes to suit any taste.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour, and up to 1 day. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month. You may have cinnamon sugar left over; it's not tough to find ways to use that up.

60 - 72 pieces

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 60-72 pieces

  • 1 1/4 cups (256 grams) lard, at room temperature (may substitute vegetable shortening)
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 navel orange
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons anise seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, combine the lard and 1 cup sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, liqueur, vanilla extract and zest, and beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Stop the mixer to scrape down the bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder until aerated and combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the bowl, then just enough of the water to form a dough. Add the anise seed and mix on low just until distributed.

Divide the dough into two equal 1-inch-thick disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Lightly flour a work surface. Unwrap one dough disk and roll it out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes, transferring the cookies to the baking sheets and spacing them about 1 inch apart. If the dough is still fairly chilled/firm, it can be re-rolled a few times; otherwise, gather together the scraps and refrigerate for 15 minutes before re-rolling.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar over each cookie cutout.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just set and lightly golden, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From the December 2001 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick and Barbara Strack.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (5)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per cookie (based on 72, using half the cinnamon sugar): 70

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 4g 6%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 5mg 2%

Sodium: 10mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 8g 3%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle