A New Mexico Biscochito Recipe
I’m so excited to share this New Mexico biscochito recipe with you all.Jump to Recipe
SO excited, because they’re flipping amazing, and one of the few cookies I look forward to all year long.
I grew up eating biscochitos—a delightful little cookie dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
Made right, and your taste buds will dance with delight in a treat so tender and flakey that the cookie practically melts in your mouth.
The name biscochito comes from the Spanish word bizcocho, which means “cake.” So, in English, biscochito means “little cake.” (But honestly, I’d rather eat a dozen of these little cookies than a single bite of cake. They’re that good.)
And if you’re lucky enough to try one of my Tia France’s biscochitos, you’re in even more luck—hers are literally the best I’ve ever tasted. She says she follows this recipe, but I’m certain she adds some sort of magic to hers.
Biscochitos typically emerge around the holidays, or you’ll see them pop up for special occasions.
Because they’re not your every-day cookie, they’ve always been somewhat of a delicacy in my mind.
Fun fact: another thing that makes biscochitos the creme of the cookie crop is that they’re the official New Mexico state cookie.
See more New Mexican recipes here
And one more fun fact for ya: depending on what region you’re from in New Mexico, they’re spelled differently (biscochitos, bizcochitos, biscochos, etc.), but still taste pretty much the same.
They’re also made with lard. Yes, straight-up lard, and don’t even think about making it with anything but lard. Trust me on this. The texture is perfect when you use lard.
This is the lard we use; you can also sometimes find it in the ethnic section of grocery stores in America.
You also need to make them with love—not kidding.
One last thing: traditionally, a biscochito recipe is made with anise (a teeny tiny seed that tastes a bit like black licorice). But, I grew up eating them without anise, so that’s how I make these. If you like anise, add it to the mix!
New Mexico Biscochito Recipe
- 2 cups lard (like Morrell Snow Cap Lard linked above)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 6 cups flour
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon anise seed (optional)
- 6 TBS sweet table wine (Mogen David Concord works great)
- ½ cup sugar (for sprinkling; may need a bit more)
- 2 TBS cinnamon (for sprinkling may need a bit more)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cream lard and 1 cup sugar together until creamy. Add eggs and beat until very fluffy.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture.
- Stir and mix in wine (and anise seed, if using) until it's a dough-like consistency (may need to knead).
- Roll dough out on floured board to 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shape; place on baking sheets 1/2" apart.
- Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon; sprinkle on top of each cookie.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Combine the rest of the sugar and cinnamon. Once out of the oven immediately cover the entire cookie with cinnamon sugar mix. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for more favorite flavors from New Mexico, try these!
Biscochito Handy Helpers
The biscochito recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are a few gadgets that can help take your baking experience to the next level.
These tried and true tools will make your baking easier.
Stoneware is awesome for baking like the Large Round Stone; Nylon Turner (my husband’s all-time favorite spatula), Stackable Cooling Rack, a set of Stainless Steel Bowls, and a Sugar Shaker (fill it with cinnamon sugar instead of powdered sugar to make things easier on you).
Let Me Know What You Think!
Have you tried these New Mexico biscochitos? I’d love to know what you think of them!
Okay, you’ve convinced me! I definitely have to give these a try! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe Jessica!
These honestly look amazing. I don’t bake much outside of Christmas, but I think I’ll have to try these around the holidays!
OilCould you tell me if you could use or ever used Organic Virgin Coconut oil from Costco. I have this large container and need to use it up.
I’m so sorry, we’ve never used coconut oil with these. But if you try it, let me know how they are!
Hello! Native New Mexican here. I do believe lard is the only option for the real thing. Half of the job is creaming the lard, that’s what the entire cookie is built around. But if you do find a way please share though, that would be amazing!
Hi, I use a KichenAid mixer with its paddle as well as room temperature lard (never refrigerated). Lard gets incredibly fluffy after a couple of minutes of mixing. Any brand mixer works! Hand mixer works too, just be aware the lard will be a bit of a challenge to get out of the beaters. Happy baking!
Absolutely right! Lard is the only way to go with these cookies.
Christmas and biscochitos is a must from a Santa Fe girl moved to Florida. Thanks for the recipe, lost mine. Came out great. Don’t even consider anything but lard.
I’m so glad they gave you a piece of home to enjoy!
This is a bonafide New Mexico recipe, right down to the Mogen David table wine. My people are from New Mexico and Southern Colorado and these cookies have been a part of our Christmas celebrations for generations. It made me SO happy to see this recipe. Merry Christmas, Jessica Lynn.
thank you so much for your comment. I hope you’ll enjoy these! Such a wonderful holiday tradition!
Hi Jessica. Thank uou so much for the recipe. My mom and her family are from New Mexico, and moved to Colorado in the 60s. We still have a lot of extended family in NM and my mom still keeps many family-favorite NM recipes alive. Can you tell me if you’ve used orange juice in place of the table wine? My mom and I were discussing the various liquid substitutions last week and she recalled my great grandma using orange juice in her biscochitos recipe.
Hi Rhiannon! I’m so happy you stumbled on this recipe. I have not used orange juice; however, we’re living in Germany now, and I don’t know if they’ll have my trusty Mogen David, so I just might have to improvise with some OJ! If you try it first, let me know how it is 🙂
I picked up Mogen David Concord wine today at the local liquor store. I’m so excited to try this recipe. My mom is anxious to taste test, as well. 🙂
Have you ever used Coca-Cola? That’s what my family uses.
Oh what an interesting twist! I haven’t heard of using Coca-Cola in it before! I may have to give that a try.
I have used orange juice and they come out great. The recipe I have says milk, oj or brandy for the liquid so I guess it’s just a matter of preference.
How would I New Mexican Bizcochito Spice seasoning I bought when I was on vacation there? It is a blend of sugar, anise, vanilla extract and beans, cinnamon and mace. Thanks!
IMO anise seed isn’t optional – it’s mandatory. You can grind them up if you don’t care for the whole seed getting stuck in your teeth 🙂
To each their own; we’ve just never cared for the taste (ironically, whole little seeds don’t bother me)!
Using the lard is a MUST. No substitutions, otherwise they come out hard as a rock. Also, we don’t care for the anise seed so we use the anise extract and it gives a smooth and light taste, without the seeds getting stuck in your teeth- it’s perfect.
So I too lost my receipe . How do you measure the two cups of lard?? Do you melt it?
The lard we’ve used is always soft enough that you can scoop to measure it out; much like if you get crisco in the container!
We use brandy, also there is anise extract for anyone who is interested.
Thank you for sharing!
I actually just saw anise extract at the store for the first time yesterday! Great tip 🙂
Hi jessica, im so egar to bake this recipe but i must ask if wine is mandutory? What is the wine for , taste?
Unfortunately I can’t tell you *why* the wine is needed, but I’ve heard from people who haven’t used it that it definitely needs to be there. We’re actually going to experiment with brandy this year, and I’ve heard that some people make it with orange juice, but I can’t tell you how it’ll turn out if you use either of those.
Hi Jessica Lynn,
I use to live in Arroyo Seco just north of Taos, now in the Colorado Rockies, and am making biscochitos for Christmas. After making 4 dozen, the remaining scraps of dough aren’t sticking together in order to cut cookies out. Should I add more lard or what. I think there are about enough to make another half dozen cookies if I could get the dough going. ? wine? Delighted to find your recipes.
Hi! Are these the cookies that crumble in your mouth?
I tried different recipes and they always harden a little! I tried these cookies at a Mexican wedding and tried to make them myself but seems like i cant find the perfect recipe
Hello 🙂 Yes, these are super fragile cookies, especially if you use lard—they’ll definitely crumble!
I made this recipe 3 ways. First way was gluten free for my neighbors who require it, they were more dry then I normally expect. Second way was the recipe way, pretty decent! Third way, I had the dough rest for 24 hrs in the fridge, rolled the dough to be a little thicker, and I baked them for a shorter amount of time. I think the third way was my preferred choice but all around this was a great recipe and reminded me of home! Thank you!!
thanks for the ideas!! Glad they all worked out for you!
This is THE only biscochito recipe you’ll ever need. I’m a native New Mexican and this is by far the best I’ve seen on the internet. I do crush my anise seed coarsely, just enough to release the essence of the seeds, and add a tsp of anise extract. I also use rum, but have used brandy or wine as well. These melt in your mouth and are the taste of the holidays! Thanks for posting Jessica!
Hello! Just wondering if the Mogen David Concord is the red one? Think there is also a fruit flavor as well, but not really having any luck finding it
Yes, it’ll look red! I’ve seen a pomegranate, a blackberry, zinfandel and moscato, but the only one I’ve used is concord. And 9 times out of ten if I’m at a new store, I’ve had to ask someone to help me find it—it’s never where I thought it would be.
Total wine and more!
Is there an alternative to the wine? What else can I use want to try these cookies but don’t have the wine
I use freshly squeezed orange juice
6 TBS = 1-large orange
And use veg.Crisco instead of lard
Anxious to make this recipe, question for you, what do you think about adding mini chocolate chips? If so, when do I add to the mixture?
Hi I am so excited to make these! I’m really confused on the lard. I’m not familiar at all what exactly should I look for?
I hope you’ll love them! I just updated the post with a link to the lard we use (you can get it on amazon https://amzn.to/3lkoh4k, or they’re sometimes in the ethnic sections of stores)
These were so incredibly awesome last year. I can’t wait to make these cookies using your recipe again this season. I better get my Mogen David wine 👍🏼
Hi Jessica, you are so kind to share this recipe, thank you! I got a recipe similiar to yours from my dear friend Letty B. Funny and not so funny story how Letty got the recipe from her babysitter. Her baby sitter would make large batches of these Biscochos and sell them at weddings and quincineras and won’t share the recipe with Letty, like other people I know that don’t share their receipes.The babysitter at times would be making the Biscochos when Letty would pickup her kids after work. Letty noticed that the recipe card the babysitter was following it was old and stained so Letty offered to type it and laminate it for her. Her babysitter accepted not realizing that Letty would make a copy for herself. Letty was kind and so sneaky.😱 Of course Letty shared it with me and we named it Stolen Biscocho recipe! True story !😉😒😊. The difference from your recipe is that the stolen recipe calls for 1 cup of David Morgan wine, 10 cups of flour, 7 tsp of baking powder (which I’m wondering if that is correct) and 3 1/2 tsp of powdered anise although the babysitter’s recipe calls for anise to taste. My husband also would rather have them without anise. My husband and I make them a week before Christmas and by the end of the night we feel a little tipsy because as we are making them we are having some wine and we also get a sugar high tasting them between batches! They are a lot of work!
but worth it. Happy Holidays!
Sylvia Rodriguez, El Paso, Texas
…. I’m going to try it with Kahlúa.
Your recipe used less eggs than mine. And I’ve never considered using alcohol. My grandmother always did 2 cups flour, 1 cup lard, a tablespoon of anise and 1 tsp baking powder and vanilla. But grandmas cookies were always hard. I’ve been looking for something to give me that authentic cookie that’s more traditional and tastes better than grandmas. (Bless her heart.) we always laughed about how they tasted best burnt anyway. ❤️
My Grandma from Las Cruces made her biscochos using a cookie press. Her recipe called for juice. wine or rum. I tried juice and wines until I got it just right. Her recipe called for anise seeds and it’s the only way I know. I changed the recipe a bit and soak the anise in the wine for at least 20 minutes before mixing into the dough. The wines I like best are sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. I decided to carry on the tradition of her biscochos a few years ago more than 15 years after she had passed.
Can you use cooking red wine? Or does it need to be actual table wine? My mom used to make these all the time. (She is no longer with us) We just recently visited family in Santa Fe and they were selling these gems at the Plaza outdoor market! I am so looking forward to baking these for Christmas this year. May the tradition continue!!