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If I had to choose one Mexican dessert that I remember the most as a child, it would have to be hojarascas. It has the texture of a shortbread cookie that melts in your mouth when you eat it. My Mom would make these cookies at the holidays mostly or sometimes on cold days we would beg her to make us a batch to enjoy with some hot Mexican chocolate. After I was married and moved away from home, to ease my feelings of being terribly homesick, my mama would send me a batch of hojarascas every Christmas without fail! That box filled with hojarascas and pumpkin-filled empanadas were worth a million dollars to me. I get a little choked up just thinking about it. As my mom grew older and could not bake anymore, I learned the recipe and added my own flair to it along the way. Now, I am the one who sends care packages to my family members at Christmas time to keep the tradition going.
Yields 30 small cookies
1 cup vegetable shortening
½ cup of granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
1½ teaspoon ground anise
2 egg yolks
Juice and zest of 1 large orange
1½ teaspoons baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground pecans, plus extra for garnish
Your choice of fillings: Dulce de leche, guava, raspberry, chocolate...
Nonstick cooking spray
In my Mom's original recipe, she would roll out the dough and use heart or star cutouts to make hojarascas, then dredged in a little cinnamon and sugar mixture. To make them with a filling, I used my thumb and pressed down lightly.
Other recipes by Sonia:
Mexican Red Rice
Annatto-Citrus Marinated Chicken
Chile Relleno with Serrano Shrimp
Crab Cakes with Habanero Slaw
Cheesy Chorizo Bread
Flank Steak Tacos
Frijoles Borrachos con Chorizo
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Nectarines
Chile Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
Chicken Enchilada Soup with Chayotes
Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Chip Chimichangas
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