Called gingerbread pigs, cochinos or puerquitos in some communities, these delightful cookies get their color and flavor from molasses. You might like to add some ground ginger to the recipe or even some allspice for a spicier flavor. The cochino is very popular all over Mexico and, as you can see from the recipe, this is one of the easiest Mexican dessert recipes to make.
Cochino cookies can be served at special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, weddings and christenings. Alternatively they make a nice treat at any time of the day and are tasty eaten with hot chocolate or coffee. If you don’t have a pig-shaped cookie cutter, don’t worry – they taste just as good round or square!
Making these is so simple. The first thing you need to do is preheat the oven and while that is heating up you can get to work making the cookie dough. Beat the fat and sugar, then add your eggs, vanilla and milk, and then the other ingredients.
Working with the Dough
The dough will come together in a nice consistency, so you can roll it out and then use your cutter (pig-shaped if you have one!) to cut your cookies. When you have cut as many cookies as you can get out of the dough, re-roll the dough and then you will be able to cut out some more.
Bake them until they are done. You will be able to see when they are done because they will have started turning golden brown on the outsides and dry in the centers. Then you need to let them cool down and then it is time to serve this wonderful snack. Kids and grownups alike will find them delicious and this is a recipe you will want to make again and again.
- 2 beaten eggs
- 6 cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup unsulfured molasses
- ¼ cup shortening
- ¼ cup milk
- 1¼ cups brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Use parchment paper to line cookie sheets.
- Beat the shortening with the brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in 1 egg, vanilla and milk until you get a smooth paste.
- Stir in the cinnamon, baking soda and molasses. Add the flour until the dough is stiff enough to roll out.
- Roll it out on a lightly floured surface until ¼ inch thick. Use a pig-shaped cookie cutter to cut the cookies.
- Place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Brush the other egg over the cookie tops and bake for about 16 minutes until the cookies are dry in the center and the edges are golden.
Cochino cookies are a wonderful Mexican treat. Not only are they easy to make but the flavor is amazing. Vanilla, cinnamon and molasses offer wonderful accents to the taste of these, and if you have a pig-shaped cookie cutter you can make these cookies look authentic as well as taste that way. The photo shows some of the other shape possibilities. Of course the flavor will be the same whatever shape or shapes you opt for. These are lovely whether you are making them for a special occasion or just as a nice treat for your family.
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