Rude Boy Cookies Bizcochitos make the perfect holiday treat. (from Tasting: Cookies). Photograph by Douglas Merriam.

Bizcochito Bites

Makes 4–6 dozen, depending on size

Rude Boy Cookies uses a traditional recipe to make New Mexico’s official state cookie (also spelled biscochito). Most abuelas swear that the lard makes the difference. You can find recipes with healthier fat substitutions, but hey, it’s Christmas.

2 cups lard at room temperature
1½ cups sugar, plus ¼ cup, divided
2 eggs 
¼ cup brandy 
2 teaspoons aniseed 
6 cups flour  
1 tablespoon baking powder  
¼ teaspoon salt  
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Cream together lard and 1½ cups sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  

  2. Add eggs, brandy, and aniseed and beat until well blended.  

  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix flour into lard mixture to make a stiff dough.  

  4. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon.  

  5. Roll dough to ¼-inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes (around 2–3 inches) and bake at 350° on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10–12 minutes, until barely browned. (Leftover dough may be re-rolled.)  

  6. Gently roll cookies in cinnamon sugar while warm, then let cool on a rack. (Cookies are very fragile until set.)