top of page
Search

Bizcochitos, a Holiday Treat, Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Updated: Oct 6, 2021


With the holidays approaching, I've got cookies on my mind. How can I not? It seems everywhere I turn, someone is talking about them. A Kiebler™ commercial on TV, a luscious new recipe on Facebook, a family memory that pops up in conversation … and man, what a memory! Bizcochitos! My mouth waters just thinking about them.


Every year, my grandma started rolling out batch after batch of the buttery cookies as soon as Thanksgiving was over. By the first of January, she had made hundreds of them--maybe thousands—to give as gifts and serve to guests in her home. Actually, forget butter. She unabashedly scooped globs of pork lard out of five-pound buckets, which was why her cookies tasted so divine. As a kid, I hadn't heard enough about high cholesterol and clogged arteries to be put off by the lard. I just reveled in the sweet smell of spices that made me drool every time the oven door opened. But now, as I contemplate baking my own bizcochitos with my daughter, I'm not sure I can force myself to buy lard at the store, much less touch it with my bare hands and feed it to my family. I know how delicious the lard would make my cookies turn out, but still--it's so horrifically unhealthy! There may be vegetable shortening in our future.


No one knows exactly where the recipe for bizcochitos originated. The first Spanish colonists who settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico, may have brought a version of it across the Atlantic with them. Throughout the centuries, the recipe probably evolved along with the regional culture of the indigenous people. Over time, recipe ideas have been expanded by local customs and suggested by immigrants from other Spanish-speaking countries. In 1989, New Mexico declared the bizcochito its state cookie. By doing so, New Mexico became the first of the fifty U.S. states to have an official state cookie. Bizcochitos are traditionally served at wedding receptions, baptisms, and religious celebrations, especially at Christmastime. They’re often paired with hot chocolate.


Bizcochitos are thick, crunchy sugar cookies flavored with cinnamon and anise, which tastes somewhat like black licorice. Since anise can be a bit of an acquired taste, some modern bakers leave it out and add extra cinnamon instead.


41 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Hispanic Heritage Month 2023, Joe Barrera

Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept.15-Oct. 15, is upon us. Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, Mexican Heritage month is one of many ethnic months. Some people object to Hispanic Heritage Month because they fear Me

IT'S A GOOD DAY TO BE HISPANIC, PAUL LANE

I remember my mom telling me that when she was a child growing up in Walsenberg, Colorado, how her teachers would hit kids on their outstretched fingers if they were caught speaking Spanish, either in

Generational Hope, Maria Ramirez

My heart was pounding with excitement to return to central Mexico. The scenery was breathtaking. I could not wait to visit other amazing states in the Republic. I didn’t nap, I did not want to miss a

bottom of page