Pair these anise-flavored Mexican sugar cookies with a mug of hot chocolate for a cold-weather treat.
- 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
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.
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.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in center. Combine cinnamon and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.
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.