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Mexican Piloncillo Cookies

Piloncillo, which is also known as panocha, chanaca, papelon, empanizao, atado dulce, or rapadura, is an unrefined type of sugar, made by boiling and evaporating sugarcane juice. Colombia produces 1.4 million tons of this product every year. It is also made in Bolivia, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Mexico. Piloncillo is made in cones, cubes or disk shapes and it is golden brown in color. It contains calcium, ascorbic acid, iron and proteins as well as sugar. Piloncillo is used to make aguapanela, which is a very popular Colombian beverage. It is also used to make desserts and as a sweetener.

In Mexico, piloncillo comes in cone-shaped packages. Capirotada, flan, atole, and champurrado are other Mexican desserts and beverages, which use piloncillo. You can get plain piloncillo and piloncillo made with chocolate, anise, or cayenne flavors. The biggest, heaviest piloncillo ever made measure ten feet and twenty inches across and weighed one thousand five hundred and seventy six pounds. It took ninety people twenty eight hours to make this piloncillo and seventy tons of sugar was used.

In the following galletas de piloncillo recipe, piloncillo is combined with cinnamon, orange, butter and more to make light and crumbly cookies. Serve these cookies warm from the oven or cold. They are tasty with a cup of champurrado or coffee and they also make a tasty dessert after dinner. Piloncillo cookies are very popular in Mexico and they are available in all Mexican bakeries. Piloncillo has a rich flavor. If you cannot get it where you are, try making these cookies with dark brown sugar instead, adding a touch of molasses for the piloncillo-like flavor.

No wonder these are so popular in Mexico. The taste is phenomenal and the texture is also amazing. If you are looking for a new cookie recipe, consider making these Mexican piloncillo cookies because for sure you will really love them. You do not need a lot of ingredients to make these, just the basic cookie ingredients as well as cinnamon and orange for flavor. The piloncillo is what makes these really Mexican and really special.

Galletas de Piloncillo
Summary: These rich flavored cookies might be easy to prepare but do not underestimate their amazing flavor. The orange and cinnamon combine in a heavenly way and these taste rich and indulgent.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cone piloncillo
  • 1 cup butter or lard
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  1. Boil the piloncillo with the orange zest and cinnamon in the water until you get a thick liquid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Strain the piloncillo liquid through a sieve.
  3. Sift the baking powder with the flour and fold in the butter or lard.
  4. Add the piloncillo liquid and mix until you get a dough.
  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board using a rolling pin.
  6. Roll it out quite thin.
  7. Use a cookie cutter to cut 3 inch wide cookies, then spray some water over them and arrange them on cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and firm.

Photo Description:

All cookies are delicious but these piloncillo cookies are especially delicious. The unmistakable flavor of piloncillo shines through and the orange zest adds a fruitiness to the flavor. These cookies are medium to dark brown, because of the piloncillo, and really crumbly. They are great served warm from the oven but they will keep for several days in an airtight container. Piloncillo cookies are a favorite in Mexican households and if you can get some piloncillo from a Mexican grocery store, you might like to try making your own.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,