Puerquitos, marranitos, cochinitos, o galletas de piloncillo. These are the names that these piggy shaped cookies are known by across Mexico.
Hola amigos, if you’ve ever been to a Mexican panadería (or bakery) you’ll surely have come across these cookies — I keep calling them cookies but in reality they’re somewhere between a crumbly cookie and a pillowy kind of bread-like cookie. The texture depends on the recipe, and as you can imagine there are tons of variations.
My recipe will give you cookies that are less pillowy but will still be a bit soft, and they’re sweet but not overly so — which in my book is a good thing! The sweetener in the more traditional is piloncillo, which is unrefined whole cane sugar that has a unique taste of dark brown sugar with hints of molasses.
Nowadays some people like a sweeter cookie so they’ll also add brown sugar to mix. You can always test out my recipe and later adjust the sweetness if you’d like.
If you watch the video you’ll see my special baking companion…it’s my father’s rolling pin. My dad was the most talented baker, everything I ever tasted of his baked treats was fantastic. I can’t tell you how much I miss him and the perfect conchas he baked. Whenever I bake I bring out my dad’s rolling pin. It’s for good luck and hasn’t failed me yet. I like to think that he comes to stand next to me to help guide me.
Why don’t you grab a cup coffee and come stand beside me as we make some puerquitos together!
(If you don’t see the video right below this text, view it on our YouTube channel by clicking here.)
When you take them out of the oven, you’ll know the cookies are perfect because they’ll feel soft. It’s best to enjoy them while they’re still a little warm. They become harder and drier so store in an airtight container and eat within a couple of days.
You can see they look like a cookie but when you break a piece off they’ll be a soft-pillowy kind of cookie — if you over bake them, they’ll be harder like a regular cookie.
My favourite way of enjoying my puerquito cookies are with a cup of unsweetened coffee with plain almond milk. The strong coffee flavours pair perfectly with the sweet, cinnamony, molasses flavours of these cookies. Like I mentioned before, they’re not overly sweet so you’ll tastebuds and nose will really pick up all those aromatic flavours. If you like to dunk your cookies, these are THE perfect dunking cookie!
Thanks for stopping by amigos, Happy Cooking!! ❤️
Puerquitos: Mexican Piloncillo Spiced Cookies
- 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
- 1.5 cups of all purpose wheat flour
- 1/4 to 1/2 cups of all purpose wheat flour*
- 1 cup of whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons of vegetable shortening or solid coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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