Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Mexico Biscochitos

If you know me in real life then you may know that I'm not a fan of chocolate chip cookies (CCC). If you see me eating one I'm usually nibbling around the chocolate pieces—true story. In fact, I actually prefer chocolate chip cookies sans the chocolate chips. Seriously, the CCC batter is DELICIOUS as its own cookie. I realize that's not normal, so I decided to blame my home state, New Mexico, on the reason why I prefer cinnamon-sugar sweets to chocolate.


I grew up eating a delicate dessert called biscochitos—a cookie that doesn't have a smidgen of chocolate, but are dusted with cinnamon and sugar and are so tender they practically melt in your mouth. These cookies are special and typically emerge around the holidays or for very special occasions, so they've always been somewhat of a delicacy in my mind.


Another thing that makes biscochitos the creme of the cookie crop is that they're the official New Mexico state cookie—a fun fact I learned when I was in elementary school. Depending on what region you're from in New Mexico, they're spelled different (biscochitos, bizcochitos, biscochos, etc.), but still taste pretty much the same. They're traditionally made with anise (a teeny tiny seed that tastes a bit like black licorish), but I grew up eating them without anise, so that's how I make them. They're also made with lard. Yes, straight up lard. They may taste "just as good" with shortening, but I think my family may disown me if I stray from the recipe too much.


Why all this talk about a cookie? Well, a couple weeks ago Better Homes and Gardens asked if I'd be interested in participating in their State Cookie Contest. I may be living in Georgia now, but since I'll always call New Mexico "home," I asked if I could bake on behalf of the Land of Enchantment. They said the New Mexico spot was mine, so armed with a brand new Better Homes and Gardens baking sheet*, I got down to business and made the first recipe that came to mind: biscochitos.




bhg bakeware
The grand prize winner in the State Cookie Contest wins a $100 Walmart gift card and TWO Better Homes and Gardens Bakeware sets (one for me and one to give away....or possibly TWO to give away since we're moving)!


Here's how you vote for this mouthwatering cookie...It's as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1.  "Like" BHG Live Better on Facebook
2. Look to the left and click on "State Cookie Contest"
3. "Like" New Mexico Biscochitos
(You can vote once EVERY day until July 27!)


Biscochitos
adapted from Simply Simpatico

Ingredients:
1 cup lard (or shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anise seed (optional)
3 tablespoons sweet table wine (Mogen David Concord works great!)
1/2 cup sugar (may need a bit more)
2 tablespoons cinnamon (may need a bit more)

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream lard and sugar together until creamy. Add egg and beat until very fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture. Stir and mix in wine (and anise seed, if using) until it's a dough-like consistency (may need to knead). Roll dough out on floured board to 1/4" thickness. Cut into desired shape. Combine 1/4 sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon; sprinkle on top of each cookie. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Combine the rest of the sugar and cinnamon. Once out of the oven immediately cover the entire cookie with cinnamon sugar mix. Enjoy!

* I was not compensated in any way for this post.  I DID receive a free pan to use in the creation process, but all thoughts and reviews are my own**

5 comments:

  1. me being from new mexico flipped when i saw this...i may make these tonight!!

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  2. If you read Cake Wrecks, a CCC is a "cupcake cake"...just so you know. Also, my nephew swears up and down he doesn't like chocolate so whenever my mom makes cookies she always makes a handful without the chips in them. The batter is definitely yummy on its own. Also, these things look good and I love that they're in the shape of the state!! Best of luck in the contest!

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  3. Yay I voted! I will try and remember to vote frequently!

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  4. I voted and will try to vote daily too! I hope you win!

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  5. YUM!! I've always heard them as biscochos. I love them! I had them at my wedding and I think they are the best! Thanks for sharing!

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