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, plus more for work surface
  • 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.


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