Biscochitos are a New Mexican cookie made around the holidays or for other special occasions. They are a durable butter or originally, lard cookie that is rolled out and cut into shapes, baked, then coated in cinnamon sugar. The unique thing about Biscochitos is the presence of whole aniseed and brandy. The brandy is barely noticeable but the anise turns licorice flavor haters into lovers. The anise with the cinnamon sugar is pure heaven and like nothing you’ve ever had.
The first summer I lived in Santa Fe with my sister Sahara, our backyard had an apricot tree drooping with ripe apricots. We picked as many as we could and I went crazy making dried apricots and apricot jam. One batch of apricot jam I flavored with a little amaretto liqueur and a magical pair was born. That almond-y sharp amaretto flavors bounces off the fruity caramelized cooked apricots.
I was ready to go all out and make my own apricot amaretto jam to sandwich these cookies but alas, apricots are not easy to find this time of year. So I used a jarred apricot jam that I flavored with the juice of amarena cherries (like fancy maraschinos). The juice adds flavor and color and is very similar to that legendary apricot amaretto jam once upon a Santa Fe summer.
Biscochito Linzers with Apricot Cherry Jam
- 1 cup butter, lard or shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons aniseeed
- 1/4 cup brandy, red wine, or water
- 1 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
Apricot Cherry Jam
- 8 ounces apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon amarena cherry juice or 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the Biscochitos
- Cream butter and sugar together for 3 minutes in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
- Add egg and mix until combined.
- Add flour, baking soda, salt, and anise an stir till just combined. Add brandy and for until just incorporated.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- When ready to cut out the Biscochitos, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough from fridge and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes on cookie sheets.
- While cookies are baking, mix cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl big enough to fit a cookie. When cookies are out of the oven and cooled enough to handle, dip and coat in the cinnamon sugar and place on a cooling rack.
For the jam and assembly
- Combine jam and cherry juice or almond extract. Use jam to spread on a cookie and sandwich with another cookie.