Makes about 28 cookies
3 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour (plus more for rolling surface)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
3/4 c white sugar (plus more for topping the cookie)
1/2 c coconut oil plus 1/2 c organic vegetable oil (or 1 c lard for authentic biscochitos)
1 t whole fennel or anise seeds (grind with a mortal and pestle)
1 egg (at room temperature)
1/8 c brandy
2 drops of DigestZen, a digestive essential oil blend (ginger, peppermint, caraway, coriander seed, anise, tarragon, fennel)
One bite of this delicate, sweet~savory cookie and you will understand why it’s so popular and holds a special place at celebrations including weddings, baptisms, and holidays. The cookie was introduced to Santa Fe Nuevo México by the Spanish colonists as the "bizcochito." With the goal of maintaining traditional home-baked cookery, the state of New Mexico adopted the biscochito as the official state cookie in 1989. New Mexico was the first state to have an official cookie.
We made these with coconut oil--vegetable oil blend for Thanksgiving (see photo). If you're a purist, and want to keep to the traditional, authentic recipe for biscochitos, use lard. You may also experiment with a vegetable oil--butter combination.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and set aside. In a larger bowl, cream together sugar and oils until combined (will not be smooth).
Mix in the fennel seeds into the sugar-oil and beat gently until fluffy. Lightly beat egg and add to the mixture.
Add the sifted dry ingredients, brandy, and the 2 drops of essential oil blend. Stir until well-blended but be careful not to over mix. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes and work with a small amount at a time (since the dough is fragile, it’s best to keep the unused portion chilling in the refrigerator).
Prepare a surface for rolling out the dough by dusting with small amount of flour. Roll the dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into desired shape (fleur-de-lis is traditional and diamonds are often the shape used for weddings). Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. In a small bowl make a cinnamon-sugar by mixing about 1/8-1/4 c sugar with cinnamon (to taste). Brush the cookies with a small amount of cool water, then (with hands) sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the raw cookies.
Bake for a total of 10-15* minutes (more like 15-18 minutes at high altitude) or until the bottoms are lightly browned.
* Set your timer for half the time (5-7 minutes). Check the bottom of the cookie and turn the tray 180-degrees to continued baking--this helps to ensure a more even baking and browning.