Written from México City by Norma Ruiz of La Cocina de Norma
These are the famous Marranitos de Piloncillo, one of my country’s most traditional recipes. There are two types, the ones that are soft like the ones here, and the crunchy type. Both of them are equally delicious, but for now I’ll give you the recipe for the soft ones. They are also known by other names or synonyms of little pig, like: marranitos, puerquitos, and in some towns in the Gulf of Mexico they are called chichimbres, which is believed to be a deviation of the English word gingerbread, since the taste and texture resembles the latter.
SOFT MARRANITO COOKIES WITH PILONCILLO:
- 125 grams of grated piloncillo
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 whole allspice berry
- 300 grams of all-purpose flour (2 cups plus extra to work the dough)
- ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 80 grams of vegetable shortening (5 tablespoons)
- 2 eggs for dough + 1 for glaze
- 1 piggy cookie cutter
These are the cookie-cutters that we will be using for the puerquitos; they are easy to find in Mexico, but if they’re not available in your country you can draw the pattern on a piece of cardboard and use that as a guide to cutting them instead, or you can buy the cookie cutter HERE.