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Pair these anise-flavored Mexican sugar cookies with a mug of hot chocolate for a cold-weather treat.

  • Yield: Makes 4 dozen

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2001


  • 1 cup sugar, plus 3/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1 1/4 cups lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • All-purpose flour, for work surface


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 1 cup sugar and the lard on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3
    minutes. Add egg; beat to combine. Add vanilla, Grand Marnier, and zest; beat to combine.

  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into sugar mixture on low speed. Beat in anise seeds. On medium, gradually add 2 tablespoons water or more to form a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in center. Combine cinnamon and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.

  4. On a floured surface, roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough into moons, stars, or shapes you like with a 2-inch cutter; lightly sift cinnamon-sugar over each shape. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies should be set but not brown. Transfer the cookies and parchment to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining batches.

Reviews (1)

  • naveisa 23 Dec, 2010

    These are my Christmas tradition from when I was a little girl. My grandma's recipe was a little hard to follow and just kind of some of this and some of that. This one has worked great without the orange zest and Grand Marnier. If you want the traditional Mexican way don't use those two things and definitely use the lard not the shortening. Not the healthiest but a once a year indulgence!!

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