Bisenchitos / Biscochitos

This is New Mexico’s traditional cookie. My mother made them for as long as I can remember. She never said where she got the recipe. We always called them “bisenchitos”, but that is probably due to misinterpretation from “biscochitos” by the person who wrote this recipe.  I keep trying to change, but I tend to fall back to “bisenchitos” when I am not thinking about it and then have to correct myself. Whatever you want to call them, they are delicious and one of my favorite cookies.

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp anise extract
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
brandy
cinnamon sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar.
  3. Beat in egg and extract.
  4. Mix flour, baking powder and salt.pinwheel_folding
  5. Blend into sugar mixture.
  6. Add enough brandy to hold the dough together.  If it seems dry, add more brandy.  If it crumbles when you roll it out, add more brandy.
  7. Roll out about 1/8″ thick to make pinwheels.
  8. For pinwheels, cut dough into squares. Cut from each corner halfway to center of square. Lift alternating corners and press gently into the center.
  9. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  10. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • This does not need expensive brandy, but avoid flavored varieties such as apricot brandy.
  • I used to make these with lard, but I have adjusted the recipe to use shortening instead.  It tends to need more brandy, but we’ll suffer through. 
  • We always made them into pinwheels, but you can cut them into simple shapes if you prefer.   Roll out 1/4″ thick to cut into shapes. This will make a softer cookie. 

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