SANTA FE, N.M. – In a town known for upscale New Mexican cuisine, the best holiday dishes might be the simplest.
By: Ashley Parrish, World Scene Editor, Tulsa World, published 12/18/11. This article was syndicated from the Tulsa World, click here for the original article.
Tamales are traditional. Cover them in red and green chile and they’re even called “Christmas-style,” although the term is used year-round.
And then there are Biscochitos.
Home cooks and bakers alike make batches of the thin shortbread cookies at Christmas. Diamonds, rounds, they come in all shapes. But they’re always mildly flavored with anise seeds and liquor and are finished in cinnamon sugar.
The state cookie of New Mexico is traditionally made with lard, and many natives won’t stand for substitutes. But this recipe from the Santa Fe Cooking School allows for vegetable shortening. It won’t be quite as traditional but is still delicious.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies
1 pound (2 cups) lard or vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons toasted anise seeds
6 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brandy
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream the lard, or shortening. Add sugar, eggs and anise seeds and cream again. Mix dry ingredients separately and combine with the shortening mixture. Add the brandy and mix thoroughly.
3. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Sprinkle the cookie shapes with the sugar-cinnamon mixture and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.
– Courtesy Santa Fe School of Cooking