Preparation info

  • Makes about

    5 dozen

    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

By David Tanis

Published 2008

  • About

These anise-flavored sugar cookies, made with lard, are another traditional New Mexican specialty. Don’t be tempted to make them with butter—they won’t have their characteristic flakiness. Be forewarned: they are addictive.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup good-quality lard or organic vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup brandy or sherry
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, mixed with ¾ cup sugar


    With an electric mixer, cream the sugar and lard well in a large bowl. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and brandy. Add the anise seeds. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the flour mixture into the lard mixture and knead for a few minutes (by machine or by hand). Add a little water if necessary to make a soft dough.

    Divide the dough in half. Roll the dough into logs about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic and refrigerate till firm.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the dough into ¼-inch rounds and place the rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 12 minutes or so, until golden. Cool on a rack.