New Mexico Bizcochitos
This sugar-spice cookie with chocolate dipping sauce is so highly regarded in New Mexico, in 1989 it was voted the official state cookie.
FOR THE COOKIES, WHISK:
FOR THE COATING, COMBINE:
MEXICAN CHOCOLATE DIPPING SAUCE:
Test Kitchen Tip
Purists use high-quality lard, not vegetable shortening.
For the cookies, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cream shortening, butter, and sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl.
Beat egg, sherry, and anise extract into creamed mixture.
Add anise seeds and half the flour mixture; beat on low speed until combined.
Beat in remaining flour mixture until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Halve dough; shape into disks, then wrap each in plastic. Chill dough at least 2 hours before rolling out. (Dough may be frozen up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling out dough.)
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat baking sheets with nonstick spray.
Roll out doughs, on a well-floured surface, to ⅛-inch thick. Shape cookies with a knife or ruler (see step, below); transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies until set and lightly golden brown around edges, 15–18 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets 5 minutes.
For the coating, combine sugar and cinnamon. Gently coat warm cookies in sugar mixture, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve cookies with Mexican Chocolate Dipping Sauce, below.
Mexican Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Heat 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz.), ⅔ cup heavy cream, 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a bowl in the microwave until melted, about 2 minutes.
Whisk chocolate sauce until smooth.