Monday, November 2, 2009

Bizcochitos with Mexican Chocolate Dipping Sauce

I have traveled quite a bit. Growing up I was fortunate to have a father who racked up thousands of frequent flyer miles for work. By the time I was 18, I had already been to many countries in Asia, Europe and parts of the Carribean. I spent many summers down the bayou of Lousiana or the country roads of Arkansas. You know where I've never been?                                 
New Mexico.

After learning that it has an offical state cookie, the bizcochito, it is definitely a state I must visit. Any state that appreciates cookies enough to designate one as its own is good enough for me.
A bizcochito is a crispy butter cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon and baked with lard. So what if you don't have anise... or lard? Google substitutions until you find one that is in your pantry. Without the key flavors, is it still a bizcochito? Who cares?* It's good!

I received this recipe from Cusine at Home. This magazine not only provides excellent fool proof recipes, it also contains basic cooking and food storage tips (complete with pictures). Cusine at Home is a must read for both myself, a novice cook (trust me people ask for seconds of my dessert, not my entrees) and my mother (a woman who would put Paula Deen, Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa to shame). In other words, I highly recommend it.

New Mexican Bizcochitos
Adapted from Cusine at Home Magazine December 2009 issue

For the cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
2/3 cup shortening (I used butter)
6 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. dry sherry
2 tsp. anise extract (I used almond extract)
2 Tbsp. anise seed (I used fennel seed)

For the coating
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the chocolate sauce
1 cup semi sweet chocolate (6 oz)
2/3 heavy cream
2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur (I used expresso powder)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter, sugar until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in egg, sherry, and almond extract. Add fennel seed and half the flour mixture; beat on low speed until ingredients are blended. Beat in remaining flour mixture until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic. Chill dough at least 2 hours before rolling out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheets with non stick spray.

On well floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Shape cookies with a knife or ruler into diamonds. Tranfer cookies to baking sheet.

Bake cookies until set and lightly golden brown around the edges, 15-18 minutes. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Gently coat warm cookies in sugar mixture, then transfer cookies to a rack to finish cooling.

Place chocolate, heavy cream, coffee liqueur, 2 tsp ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper in microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave oven for 2 minutes. Whisk mixture until it's smooth.

Serve cookies with chocolate sauce. (It's great!)

What dessert is your hometown known for?

* I love these cookies. They are perfect after dinner treat to have with tea or coffee. The next time I make these I'm going to try anise and maybe even a little shortening.

1 comment:

  1. Any cookie that comes with chocolate dipping sauce is a winner in my book! Not sure my hometown is really known for a dessert. Cupcakes are big right now b/c of Sprinkles Cupcakes though. And you won't see me complaining ;)