How to: Abuelita’s Biscochitos – a Mexican Holiday Cookie

Food is memories. Most of us have a special family recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. Whether it is a famous cookie from your Great Grandmother, or a really strong eggnog recipe from your Drunk Uncle, these recipes stay in our hearts and are an integral part of holiday family traditions.

On my Mother’s side of the family, nothing holds more holiday cheer and memories than my Abuelita’s biscochito cookies. Biscochitos are shortbread-like cookies that are coated in cinnamon and sugar and pair perfectly with coffee and gossip. There are several different styles of biscochitos (also known as biscochos or bizcochitos) that vary by region, but these are traditional to the Mexican State of Chihuahua, which is where my family hails from.

With my Abuelita’s passing a few years ago, it has become so important to me to keep and pass down the traditions that she brought into our family. For the past several years, I have been doing my best to perfect this recipe in honor of her and in honor of the memories these cookies hold. Since this is a family affair, I decided to invite my mother Doña Luzita and my niece Princess Buttercup to help me with the baking this year! We let Princess Buttercup do most of the work and she loved it!

Me, my niece Princess Buttercup, and mother Doña Luzita. Three generations of cookie makers.

These cookies are relatively easy to make and only have a few ingredients. Yay! Since these do not dry out as easily as other cookies, they make for a delicious gift that you can box up for your loved ones. You can also make them a few days in advance to share at a later date, without running the risk of them becoming too hard or stale.

Yield: Approx. 24
Prep Time: 10-15 Minutes
Bake Time: 15-ish Minutes

For the Cookies:

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
1 Stick / 1 Cup of Crisco Vegetable Shortening

For the Topping:

½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon


  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour and the sugar.

  • Break up the Crisco into chunks and place into the flour mixture.

  • Add the egg to the flour mixture.

  • Mix the ingredients until they are combined.

    • OPTIONAL: Throw everything into an electric mixer and set on medium speed until combined.

  • Mixture may/will be lumpy. Knead the mixture with your hands into one large ball until smooth.

  • Pinch off enough of the mixture to roll into balls roughly 1” in diameter.

  • Place onto a baking sheet with a non-stick mat or non-stick spray, keeping them about 2” apart. You might have more mixture than space on your baking sheet and will have to do two bakes.

  • Once your baking sheet is full, gently flatten the balls with your palms, only slightly.

  • Take the back of a fork and press onto the top of the cookies until you get visible lines. Mixture will crack around the edges but that is ok!

  • Place baking sheet into the oven for about 15 minutes. Monitor the cookies and take them out when they no longer look wet and are starting to slightly golden.

  • Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes.

  • Once slightly cooled but still warm, take each cookie and gently toss it into your topping mixture that you had set aside. Do this for every cookie.

 Now you’re done! Enjoy!

She insisted on dressing herself this morning.

Note: These cookies are delicious but not for the faint of heart. Seriously, that whole stick of vegetable shortening makes my arteries recoil at the mere thought – BUT, it is what makes the cookie soft and melt in your mouth. Maybe one day I will experiment with substitutions, but until then, these bad boys are going to be made exactly how my Abuelita made them. Special shout-out to my cousin who sent me this recipe years ago and has coached me through the process.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments below what your special family recipes are during the holidays!


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