These cookies not only are the official New Mexico state cookie; they’re also a favorite at the popular Cornerstone Bakery & Cafe, in Ruidoso. They’re light, crispy, and filled with a licorice-like flavor in every bite, thanks to the traditional addition of anise. You’ll want to bake a bushel of these bizcochitos as holiday gifts for family and friends, and don’t forget yourself.

3 pounds lard

2 pounds and 3½ ounces granulated sugar

2 tablespoons aniseed

6 large eggs

¾ cup brandy

6 pounds and 4¼ ounces all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons baking powder

Cinnamon sugar for dusting

Makes about 100 cookies

  1. n a large mixing bowl, cream together lard, sugar, and aniseed until evenly incorporated. Add eggs and brandy; cream until smooth. Add flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix until a dough is formed. Roll into a log and wrap in plastic. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a little more than ¼ inch thick. Cut into a cookie shape. (The Cornerstone bakers use a 3¼-inch-diameter round cutter.)
  3. Set cookies flat on a parchment-lined sheet pan in rows. Dust with cinnamon sugar.
  4. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, until light golden brown. Let cool completely and enjoy! These are best stored in an airtight container.


In 1989, New Mexico became the first state to declare an official state cookie, despite a humorous legislature floor debate over how to spell it. Bizcochito or biscochito? Linguists say either one works. Besides, cookies are for biting, not fighting. Juliette C de Baca wrote rhapsodically of the melt-in-your-mouth morsels in a December 1966 article, “Christmas Is Biscochitos”:

“In New Mexico, Christmas will always mean biscochitos … And what exactly is a biscochito? Oh, amigos, how can you describe a snowflake? Or the aroma of a piñon fire? Or the kiss of a beautiful morenita? For a biscochito is a blessing that the good Lord has chosen to give the people of this lovely land of poco tiempo … To really enjoy biscochitos, amigos, one should have some vino or chocolate. Not the usual American chocolate, but the thick, rich, spicy chocolate beaten until it has a deep foam and served with a dust of cinnamon … One bite of those delicate little cakes would make anyone forget … the cares of the world.”  

In this landmark cookbook from America's oldest state magazine, fifty recipes showcase classics from the archives and groundbreaking creations of contemporary chefs. Purchase the New Mexico Magazine Centennial Cookbook today!