Always in search of a good cookie, I was delighted to learn about the biscochito during a visit to Albuquerque. It’s the official state cookie of New Mexico.
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The History of the New Mexico Biscochito
The biscochito is a shortbread-like cookie with anise in the dough and cinnamon and sugar on top. The recipe dates to the 16th century and, like many foods of New Mexico, was brought to this region by the Spaniards.
Apparently you can’t have a wedding in these parts without serving biscochitos. And they are a huge part of Christmas celebrations in the southwest.
Biscochitos are often cut in the shape fleur-de-lis, or stars or moons, but really anything works. It’s certainly NOT a drop cookie.
I learned all of this on a visit to the Golden Crown Panaderia in Albuquerque, NM. The place is a destination in itself and has been featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network.
The Golden Crown Bakery in Albuquerque, NM
The Golden Crown has been around since the early 1970s and is known for its Green Chili Bread, New Mexico Wedding Cookies and fruit-filled empanadas. And of course, the biscochitos here are legendary.
Owner Pratt Morales and his son, Chris, have expanded on the official state cookie to include a chocolate and cappuccino version. I liked the one made from blue corn flour. Although I’m not usually a fan of anything made with anise, I love these cookies.
The best thing about a visit to the Golden Crown is that every child gets a free cookie. And no matter what your age today, you qualify as a child.
Golden Crown has that special neighborhood feel and great customer service that keeps generations of children coming back to this Old Town location.
And me, too — the next time I’m in Albuquerque.
New Mexico BISCOCHITO Recipe
6 cups flour 1/4 Tsp. salt
3 Tsp. baking powder
2 Tsp. anise seeds
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups lard or butter
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in one bowl. In separate bowl, cream lard with sugar and anise seeds until fluffy.
Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in flour and brandy, then refrigerate 2-3 hours. Turn dough out on floured surface and roll to 1/4- or 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into shape of your choice. Dust with mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350° or until brown.
How cool is this: I found this biscochitos recipe on the website for New Mexico’s Secretary of state. Obviously, the New Mexico legislature is one of those rare governmental entities that has its act together, passing law that truly benefits the people of the state, like declaring a state cookie.
For another unique dining experience in New Mexico, head on south to Las Cruces and Old Mesilla for lunch or dinner at La Posta de Mesilla.
Sweet Treats from New Mexico