A few years ago at my niece’s wedding, I tried Biscochitos (Mexican Shortbread Cookies) for the first time. They are a flaky shortbread cookie that is coated in cinnamon sugar. They look a little bit like a snickerdoodle, but the flavor and texture are completely different. They sound innocent enough, but HOLY SMOKES, they are addicting. I lost count of how many I ate, and every time I looked at my sister, she had one in her mouth too.
We were begging the Aunts (from the other side of the family) to share the recipe, but they said it was a family secret. Que me being heartbroken. I’ve been on the lookout for a recipe ever since and came across this one and gave it a shot. It’s not exactly the same, but it is super close.
One of the surprise ingredients, which might be why this family keeps it a secret, lol… is some red wine. I was really skeptical about how the red wine would affect the taste of the cookies. Honestly, after they were baked, I never would have guessed they had red wine in them. If you don’t have red wine, you could try using a few tablespoons of grape or apple juice with a tablespoon of vanilla. We don’t drink alcohol, so I was lucky to still have an unopened bottle of red wine in the back of my cupboard that we were given when we moved here. You should have seen me trying to open that thing without a corkscrew. I wish I would have videoed it. I hope you will give this recipe a shot and fall in love with these cookies like my sister and I did.
Recipes Perfect for Christmas Cookie Platters
- The Best Pfeffernusse Cookies
- Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
- Holiday Snowball Cookies
- Knockoff Swig Sugar Cookies
- Shanna’s Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
Step-by-step pictures on how to make biscochitos
Frequently Asked Questions about making Biscochitos
What is a good substitute for lard?
You can usually find lard at a grocery store, and it can be easily found at a butcher. It’s a traditional and key ingredient for this recipe that gives the cookies a crumbly texture. If you can’t find lard to buy, butter or shortening are good substitutes. The texture and flavor will be different but still result in a yummy cookie.
I don’t have red wine. Is it a necessary ingredient?
I used red wine in this recipe, and I couldn’t taste it in the cookies. However, you need a little liquid to help bring the dough together. If you don’t have red wine, you could try using a few tablespoons of grape or apple juice with a tablespoon of vanilla.
Can I use cookie cutters instead of rolling them into dough balls?
Yes, you can. Roll the dough out very thin, about 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough with the cookie cutters and place them on the cookie sheet. Thoroughly sprinkle the top of each cookie with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, making sure it reaches the edges of the cookie. Use the same baking temp and time–350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Dip the slightly cooled baked cookies again in a separate cinnamon-sugar mixture.
How should I store these cookies?
A perk to making Biscochitos is they can be made in advance. They can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop for up to five days.
- 2 cups lard (If you can't find lard, you can use butter, but lard is best.)
- 1 cup +1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tbsp red wine or brandy
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ TBS cinnamon
- THINGS YOU CAN ADD IF YOU DESIRE:
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp anise seeds
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare two cookie sheets with cooking spray, parchment paper, or a Silpat mat.
- In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the lard or butter until creamy.
- Next, add eggs and beat for 1-2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix until just starting to come together. (If using orange zest or anise seeds, add them at this point.)
- Next, slowly pour in wine until it's a dough-like consistency.
- In a small bowl, prepare the cinnamon sugar by combining ¾ cup granulated sugar and 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon. Mix well and put half of the mixture in a separate small bowl to use when the cookies come out of the oven.
- Use a cookie scoop to get a uniform-sized scoop of dough. Roll dough into a smooth ball in your hands, dip in the cinnamon sugar and place evenly spaced on the prepared cookie sheet. Next, use the bottom of a glass to flatten the dough balls. (See picture above).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.
- When cookies come out of the oven, let them sit for 1-2 minutes, and then dip them again in the reserved cinnamon sugar. (You don't want to cross-contaminate the one you used for the raw dough.) Set the finished cookie on a cooling rack.
- Store completely cooled cookies in an airtight container.