Puerquitos: Mexican Piloncillo Spiced Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A cookie that tastes of cinnamon, molasses and star anise. The cookie dough is vegan but it calls for an eggwash, you can omit it to keep the cookie vegan instead of vegetarian.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegetarian
Serves: 12 to 14
Ingredients
Syrup Ingredients:
  • 12.75 oz or 360 grams of piloncillo (it's 1.5 large cones)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 sticks of Mexican cinnamon (aka ceylon cinnamon)
  • 1 whole star anise
Additional Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups of all purpose wheat flour
  • ¼ to ½ cups of all purpose wheat flour*
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup + 2 Tablespoons of vegetable shortening or solid coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of fine sea salt, optional
  • extra all purpose flour for rolling out
  • 1 lightly beaten egg for egg wash (or vegan replacement)
Instructions
  1. Place the piloncillo, water, cinnamon sticks and star anise in a pot. Over medium- low heat simmer until the piloncillo has completely melted — stir often to help it along (or you can use grated piloncillo if desired). Keep a close eye on the pot because it can quickly boil over if the heat is too high. If your syrup is bubbling a lot turn the heat down and keep an eye on it. Once the piloncillo has melted, simmer for 10 minutes on very low heat. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.
  2. While you wait for the syrup to cool, place 1.5 cups of the all purpose flour in a bowl and mix the baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined. Then add the shortening or solid coconut oil and either with your hands or a pastry cutter, mix it into the flour until you have small crumbs.
  3. Next remove the cinnamon stick and the star anise from the syrup and carefully pour in 1 cup into a measuring cup — you will have extra syrup and don’t discard it. Once measured out pour the syrup into the flour mixture and stir until well combined. You’ll have a very wet mixture and that’s okay, now add the whole wheat flour into the mixture and stir until well combined. OK, now depending on how humid your kitchen is you may or may not need to add a little more flour into the mixture to get a dough that comes together easily but isn’t too dry. Alternatively some may need to add a bit more syrup to the mixture to get a wet enough dough. Either way please add either the flour or syrup just a tablespoon at a time. Once the dough comes together you can procced.
  4. Heat the oven to 375℉ or 190℃ and lightly grease or line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside. Lightly dust your work surface with some flour and roll out the dough to half an inch thick then use your cookie cutter to cut out the cookies — so that the dough doesn’t stick to the cutters you can dip them into a little flour to coat them. Place each cut out cookie onto the baking sheet and continue until you’re done. Brush each cookie with the egg wash then bake in the centre of your oven for 8-10 minutes — they should still feel soft to the touch and be a darker golden brown colour —keep an eye on them so they don’t burn because they bake fast.
  5. Remove the cookies from the oven and baking sheet and allow to cool slightly. They taste fansataic still warm and with coffee or tea or hot chocolate. Store leftovers in a resealable bag or sealed container to keep them soft.
Notes
*You may or may not need extra flour, but if you do the amount you'll need will depend on the humidity in your kitchen. Make sure to start with small amount so you don't over do it.

Piggy cookie cutters: http://amzn.to/2ESvpNV or if you live in Mexico http://bit.ly/2FOZI9i
Recipe by Mexican Made Meatless™ at http://mexicanmademeatless.com/puerquitos-mexican-piloncillo-spiced-cookies/