Biscochitos

You can argue that lard will never touch your lips but if you’ve ever eaten traditional biscochitos, you’ve eaten lard so you might as well get over it because the rendered pork fat gives the cookies their distinctive flavor

2 cups solid shortening (lard if you want to be traditional)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon anise seeds, mashed to release flavor
6 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup brandy or apple juice
½ cup cinnamon sugar for topping (mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon per ½ cup granulated sugar)

Cream together the shortening and the eggs. Mash the anise seeds with the back of a spoon to lightly crush. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together the flour and the shortening mixtures.

This can be very tedious so be sure to work in all the flour mix. Roll out on a lightly floured board and cut into fancy shapes. Diamond shape is traditional, but so is using cookie cutters with rounded, fluted edges. Sprinkle each cookie with cinnamon sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until golden (about 12 minutes). These can be made ahead of time and frozen.

Makes 5-6 dozen

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