Back in the day at Alameda High School we did an epic ride from Denver to Taos, New Mexico. As soon as we got off the bike, we were greeted with warm fresh-baked biscochitos, a shortbread cookie commonly served in the Southwest. Many recipes call for lard, so I’ve come up with my own interpretation here in hopes of encouraging you to try these cookies for yourself.
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup coconut oil or butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- Splash of brandy (optional)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon, plus additional on top
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup honey
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Soak the anise or fennel seeds in the vanilla while you prepare the dough.
In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, coconut oil or butter, eggs, and brandy, if using. Stir the mixture together until the sugar is fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Strain the vanilla and add it to the wet ingredients, reserving the anise or fennel. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients and knead the dough until it holds together and the texture becomes smooth and even. Shape the dough into a ball and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
Use a rolling pin or wine bottle to roll it out until it’s about ¼-inch thick. Scatter the anise seeds or fennel on top of the dough and lightly press them in with the palm of your hand. Score the dough with a sharp knife so it will easily break apart into bite-sized servings—I like making uneven cuts to form geometric shapes. (You can also use cookie cutters.)
Sprinkle with more cinnamon and bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until they are no longer soft to the touch. Remove from oven to cool completely before breaking the cookies apart.
While the cookies are baking, combine the raspberries and honey in a small mixing bowl and mash with a wire whisk. The mixture will be thinner than traditional jam.
Serve the fresh jam alongside the cookies for dipping.
Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies – Per Serving: Calories 358, Protein 5 g, Carbs 46 g, Fat 18 g, Fiber 2 g, Sodium 102 mg
Fresh Jam – Per 2 tbsp.: Calories 38, Protein 0 g, Carbs 10 g, Fat 0 g, Fiber 2 g, Sodium 1 mg
Adapted from Feed Zone Table: Family-Style Meals to Nourish Life and Sport by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim, with permission of VeloPress.