Impress Your Guests with Our Orange-Anise Bizcochitos Recipe

Picture a warm and sunny day in New Mexico, with the sweet smell of orange zest and anise seeds drifting through the air. That’s the kind of atmosphere that inspired this recipe, which has become a beloved classic in the Land of Enchantment. I’m talking about orange-anise bizcochitos, or as we like to call them: Mexican orange-anise cookies.

As a baker with a passion for honoring traditional recipes while also putting my own spin on them, I couldn’t resist trying my hand at this iconic treat. The result is a mouthwatering combination of bright citrusy notes, warm spice, and tender, crumbly texture that melts in your mouth.

But let me tell you – these cookies are so much more than just a delicious dessert. They’re also a symbol of New Mexican heritage and culture, deeply connected to holidays, family gatherings, and celebrations. Bizcochitos are even recognized as the official state cookie of New Mexico!

So today, I invite you to join me on a journey into the heart of Mexican cuisine and culture. Together we’ll discover how to create these gorgeous orange-anise bizcochitos from scratch, using simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions. Trust me – once you’ve tasted your first bite of these tender treats, you’ll be transported straight to the sunny Southwest!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Orange-Anise Bizcochitos (Mexican Orange-Anise Cookies)
Orange-Anise Bizcochitos (Mexican Orange-Anise Cookies)

Listen up, folks! If you’re looking for a delightful treat that will transport your taste buds to the sandy deserts of New Mexico, then look no further than this Orange-Anise Bizcochitos recipe. Trust me when I say that this recipe is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth, and here’s why:

First off, this recipe is bursting with flavor. From the zesty orange zest to the warm and aromatic anise seeds, every bite is a tantalizing explosion of tastes that will leave you feeling incredible. The combination of cinnamon and sugar adds a touch of sweetness that compliments the tartness of the orange perfectly, creating a harmonious balance of flavors that will keep you coming back for more.

Not only is this recipe drool-worthy delicious, but it is also incredibly easy to make. With only 9 ingredients needed, this bizcochitos recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights when you’re craving something sweet but don’t have much time. Plus, the dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake – so it’s perfect for those impromptu baking sessions.

This bizcochito recipe is also incredibly adaptable to your preferences. Want to switch up the flavors? Add a touch of vanilla extract or swap out the anise seeds with crushed cardamom or fennel seeds- the possibilities are endless! You could even try dipping them in melted chocolate for an even more indulgent treat.

Finally, did you know that these Orange-Anise Bizcochitos hold a special place in history? They are classified as New Mexico’s state cookie and have a rich cultural significance within Mexican cuisine. By baking these cookies at home, you are not only treating your taste buds but also paying homage to its cultural roots.

In conclusion, folks, believe me when I say that this Orange-Anise Bizcochitos recipe is something you’ll love from the moment you taste it. With its unique flavor profile and simple preparation method, it’s the perfect addition to any dessert table or afternoon snack spread. Give it a go – I promise it’s worth it!

Ingredient List

 Delightful Mexican Orange-Anise Cookies!
Delightful Mexican Orange-Anise Cookies!

Let’s Gather the Ingredients

Before we begin, let’s gather our ingredients. Here is what we will need:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar, divided into half cups
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of anise seeds, crushed well
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 16 oz of orange juice
  • 2 tsp of grated orange zest

We will be using a combination of bold flavors like anise, cinnamon and orange zest with common pantry ingredients. The recipe yields about 4 cup’s worth of cookies, so plan accordingly if you want to make more or less (although these cookies are so tasty, you might want to make extra!).

The Recipe How-To

 Perfect for tea time or a sweet treat.
Perfect for tea time or a sweet treat.

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the cookie sheets

The first thing you need to do is preheat your oven to 350°F. While waiting for it to heat, lightly grease your cookie sheets and set them aside.

Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients

Next up in preparing the Orange-Anise Bizcochitos recipe, take a medium bowl and sift together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon ground aniseed. Sifting the dry ingredients helps aerate them for a more tender crumb.

Step 3: Cream sugar and shortening

In a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream together 1 cup of vegetable shortening and 1/2 cup granulated sugar divided. Beat until it’s light and fluffy, then add in 1 large egg, beating until incorporated.

Step 4: Add liquids and orange flavors

Add in half of your sifted dry ingredients mixture, then pour in 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice, 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Make sure everything is mixed thoroughly before adding in the remaining dry ingredients mixture.

Step 5: Prepare biscochitos dough

Once you’ve mixed all the wet ingredients as well as sifted flour-baking powder mixture, separate out about a cup of dough to form small biscuits. Keep shaping small balls or biscuit-shaped cookies with your palms, it will make from 20 to 24 bizcochitos.

Step 6: Bake for crispy texture

Place each bizcochito ball about two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake it at the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until they take on a slight golden hue around the bottom edges.

Step 7: Cool them down

When done baking your Orange-Anise Bizcochitos cookies, remove them from the cookie sheet onto wire racks to cool. This baking is important as it gives them their crispiness. And don’t be afraid to gobble some up while still piping hot! It’s recommended to let them cool down for at least five minutes before serving.

Now you know how to make classic Orange-Anise Bizcochitos the Mexican way! Don’t forget that these little bites are best served alongside coffee or hot chocolate – whip up a batch today for a truly memorable dessert!

Substitutions and Variations

 Zesty orange with a hint of anise flavor.
Zesty orange with a hint of anise flavor.

Listen, I get it. Sometimes you just don’t have all the ingredients on hand or you want to try something new. So let’s talk about some substitutions and variations that might work with this bizcochitos recipe.

First up, let’s talk about the anise seeds. Now, I know that anise can be a polarizing flavor for some folks. If you’re not a fan of licorice or don’t have any anise seeds on hand, you could try using ground fennel instead. It has a similar flavor profile and should work well in these cookies.

If you’re looking to switch up the citrus flavor, you could try using lemon zest and juice instead of orange. Or maybe even lime for a more tropical twist.

Now, let’s talk about the fat component. The recipe calls for vegetable shortening, but if you really want to go all out in favor of flavor, try using lard instead. It’s what was traditionally used in biscochitos and will give you a super tender and buttery crumb.

If you’re looking to lighten things up a bit, you could try using butter instead of shortening/lard. Just keep in mind that it might change the texture of the cookies somewhat.

Finally, if you want to go crazy with your spices, feel free to play around with the proportions of cinnamon, anise seed (or fennel), and even add in some nutmeg or cardamom if you’re feeling frisky. Just be sure not to overpower the other flavors in the cookie.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to playing around with this recipe. So don’t be afraid to get creative and make these bizcochitos truly your own!

Serving and Pairing

 A beautiful and colorful cookie.
A beautiful and colorful cookie.

You won’t want to miss serving these delectable Orange-Anise Bizcochitos with a hot cup of coffee or tea. The aroma and flavor of the anise seed pairs perfectly with the brightness of the orange zest for a taste sensation that will leave you craving more.

These Mexican Orange-Anise Cookies are traditional Christmas cookies in New Mexico, so they are perfect for holiday gatherings, but don’t let that limit their possibilities. Their unique flavor combination and tender texture make them a great choice for a wide range of occasions all year long.

For a delicious pairing, consider serving Orange-Anise Bizcochitos alongside fresh fruit or sweet desserts like flan or tres leches cake. They also pair well with savory snacks like cheese or nuts, making them a versatile choice for any snack table.

When serving Orange-Anise Bizcochitos, be sure to sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar just before serving. This adds an extra layer of sweetness and texture that elevates their overall presentation and appeal.

Whether you’re looking for a festive holiday treat or a unique snack to share with friends and family, these Orange-Anise Bizcochitos will not disappoint.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A classic recipe with a modern twist.
A classic recipe with a modern twist.

Now, let’s talk about the salvation of busy bakers and time-strapped foodies. With these Orange-Anise Bizcochitos, you can absolutely make the dough ahead of time! Store the dough in an airtight container or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to bake, remove it from the fridge and let the dough come to room temperature before shaping it into cookies.

For storing any leftover baked cookies, place them in a plastic container with a tight lid or a ziplock bag. Make sure that the container or bag is large enough for the cookies to sit comfortably without breaking—the last thing we want is to find crumbled cookies when we open it! Store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Do you want longer life for those precious bizcochitos? Follow this trick I learned from my grandma: put a slice of white bread inside the container where you’re storing your cookies. The bread will absorb any moisture in the container and keep your treats fresh for up to a week. Replace the slice every other day, though, so your bread doesn’t get too soggy.

If you’re reheating stale bizcochitos or just craving a warm cookie fix, preheat your oven 350°F (180°C) and reheat them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 3-5 minutes depending on cookie size until they become slightly toasted but still chewy in the center. Remember, oven times differ so keep an eye on those babies!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A cookie so good, it won't last for long.
A cookie so good, it won’t last for long.

As a baker, I know that making cookies can sometimes be a hit or miss experience. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your Orange-Anise Bizcochitos turn out perfectly every time:

1. Toast the Anise Seeds: To really bring out the flavor of the anise seeds, take a few extra minutes to toast them before adding them to the dough. Simply heat them in a dry skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant.

2. Use Room Temperature Ingredients: This recipe calls for shortening and butter, both of which should be at room temperature before using. So make sure to take them out of the fridge at least an hour before starting to bake.

3. Don’t Overwork the Dough: When it comes time to combine all of your ingredients into dough, be careful not to overmix. Overmixing can lead to tough cookies. Mix just until everything is integrated.

4. Chill the Dough: After making the dough, it’s important to let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour before slicing and baking. Chilling the dough will help it hold its shape while baking, resulting in perfectly round cookies.

5. Roll in Cinnamon Sugar: For an even more delicious and eye-catching cookie, finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar once you’ve sliced and shaped the rounds pre-baking.

Follow these tips and you’ll end up with a delightfully crisp bite of orange zest mixed with that buttery goodness we all love from creamy Biscochitos!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Orange-Anise Bizcochitos recipe is one that you should not miss out on. These cookies are a perfect representation of the traditional Mexican and New Mexican flavors that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. They are easy to make, and with the right ingredients, you can get a perfect result every time.

This recipe offers an excellent balance between crispiness and tenderness, with hints of orange zest and anise seed that give them a distinct flavor. Also, it provides options for substitutions and variations that allow you to experiment with different flavors.

Whether you are preparing these cookies as a treat for yourself or as a gift for family and friends, this reliable recipe will leave everyone impressed. Don’t just take my word for it – try this recipe today, and see why it has become a favorite holiday treat in New Mexico!

So next time you’re looking for something new to bake, try the Orange-Anise Bizcochitos recipe. Not only will you enjoy the baking process, but you’ll also get to savor the sweet, spicy taste of these lovely treats. I guarantee that this recipe will quickly become one that you’ll add to your go-to dessert recipes!

Orange-Anise Bizcochitos (Mexican Orange-Anise Cookies)

Orange-Anise Bizcochitos (Mexican Orange-Anise Cookies) Recipe

One of my favorite cookies, especially for the holidays! Delicate crisp sugar cookies with a delightful 'Old World' orange-anise flavor, these cookies are a wonderful addition to the holiday cookie tray and are lovely enjoyed with a cup of tea or your favorite holiday beverage. Enjoy! From Sunset Magazine, Dec. 2001.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, For Large Groups
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 7 dozen cookies
Calories: 142.4kcal


  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening (room temp.)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided use
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (approximate)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons anise seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat shortening and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice and beat just until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups flour, anise seeds, baking powder, and salt. Add to shortening mixture, stir to mix, then beat well until well blended. Divide dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  • Unwrap dough. On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll one disk at a time to about 1/8-inch thick. With floured (2 to 2 1/2-inch) cookie cutters, cut dough into shapes and place about 1-inch apart on greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake cookies at 350°F just until edges are golden, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 26g | Calories: 142.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1.7g | Fat: 6.8g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Cholesterol: 7.8mg | Sodium: 42.8mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 8.6g

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