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Friday, November 9, 2012


Have you ever had half a container of something you'll never consume again but hate to just pitch the rest?  I needed a couple cups of sweet red wine for a marinade and had rather a lot left over (and sweet wines tend not to get drunk at my house).  Cue the New Mexico official state cookie, Bizcochitos, to the rescue.

You don't have to use wine...in fact, there are a great many recipes for this cookie out there.  Some use sweet white wine, some sweet red, some a fortified wine like cream sherry or Madeira, some brandy and some just call for orange juice.  The really neat thing here is how to handle a rollout cookie when you don't want or have time to roll out dough.

Ordinarily, you would refrigerate the cookie dough for a few hours, then roll out and cut into 2" circles.  Firstly, this dough is very soft and tender which means it's a you-know-what to roll out.  Secondly, I hate rolling out dough, even easy-to-handle dough.  So I tried this as a slice-and-bake.  One recipe's worth fit perfectly into an 8x8 plastic wrap lined baking dish.  I fridged the dough as a solid square, then cut the square into 4 "logs", then sliced the logs for cookies.  The only issue is that the "logs" are square rather than round, but after fridging, you could roll them a bit to round them out if you really wanted.  Either way, much easier and tidier than rolling out and cutting shapes.

Note too that traditionally these cookies are made with lard.  Not having any on hand, I used a combo of shortening and butter.  Substitute 2 cups lard for the other fats if you want.

Makes 6 dozen

4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp anise seed, crushed (I did this in a mortar and pestle)
1 cup shortening
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup sweet red wine
cinnamon sugar

Combine dry ingredients.

Beat shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Stir in egg.  Add wine slowly until combined.  Stir in flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time.

Line an 8x8 baking dish with plastic wrap.  Press dough into pan and cover well.  Fridge at least 4 hours.  Turn block of dough out and cut into 4 logs.  Wrap each well with plastic wrap and fridge or freeze.

To bake, thaw dough if frozen.  Slice into 1/4" slices.  Place 1" apart on nonstick or greased cookie sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 11-15 minutes at 350F. Pin It

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