11 December 2009
I’m going to a cookie exchange tonight, and I’ve prepared the Official State Cookie of New Mexico (really! you can read about them at wikipedia! and see the recipe at wikibooks!). You either gotta love or wonder deeply about a state that takes the time to recognize a state cookie. Then again, Michigan has a state soil. I doubt anybody here has a Christmas tradition of eating Kalkaska sand. But hey, what do I know – I didn’t grow up here!
Anyway, this also happens to be a Christmastime favorite at my house and at my sister’s. My mother got this recipe from Cocinas de Nuevo México, a cookbook she got from the Albuquerque gas or electric company in the late 60s or early 70s. I typically half the recipe (because it makes lots!), so those are the amounts I’ve provided here.
1/2 pound (.25kg) butter/shortening (lard is traditional)
3/4 cups (75g) sugar
2 tsp. (10g) anise seed (crushed)
1 egg, beaten
3 cups (200g) flour
1.5 tsp. (15g) baking powder
1/2 tsp. (5g) salt
1/4 cup (65ml) brandy (I use orange juice)
cinnamon sugar: mix 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Cream the shortening, sugar, and anise in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat well.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Alternately add flour and brandy/OJ to creamed mixture until a stiff dough has formed. Let dough set in refrigerator until easy to handle.
- When ready to proceed, preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
- Knead dough slightly and pat or roll to a 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.5 to 1cm) thickness.
- Cut into desired shapes. (The cookbook we had says “fleur-de-lis is traditional” but triangles were traditional at our house! They’re also much quicker to produce. I like to use simple Christmas cookie cutters, like stars, bells, and trees.)
- Dust with (or dip in) cinnamon sugar.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes or until golden brown.