Holidays and cookies go hand in hand here in the US, and my favorite holiday treats to bake are Mexican cookies. Like these easy to make cookies from the northern area of the country, more common in the States of Nuevo Leon and Coahuila, where they’re sold in bakeries along the road. The combination of cinnamon, pecans and the sweetness of the Piloncillo* chips give these cookies a unique flavor. The melted “Piloncillo” chunks give the cookies a messy look, but they’re the best and tasty part while you eat them. In Mexico, these cookies are called “Chorreadas de Piloncillo”, meaning that the piloncillo has melted and leaked on top of the cookie, making a sugary mess!
This recipe only makes 8 large cookies; if you have a large family or would like to make some extra to store, just make a double batch.
*Unrefined sugar that’s pressed and shaped into cones.
MAKES 8 LARGE COOKIES
- 2 Cups of flour, plus extra roll the dough
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cinnamon stick finely chopped or 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup piloncillo, shaved and in small chucks
- 2 tsps. brown sugar
- ½ cup lard or shortening
- 1 large egg
- 6 tbsp. of milk
- 1/2 cup of half pecans or ½ cup chopped pecans (see notes)**
- PAM non stick cooking spray
You know that I always like to add notes, just in case you need to adjust if you don’t find all the ingredients here are some substitutions.
- *If you don’t find Piloncillo, use brown sugar instead. I’ve made this recipe using brown sugar before and the results are great.
- **You can use half of the pecans to decorate the top of the cookies, and add the rest into the dry mixture in step 2.
- ***The filling in these cookies will leak out. To avoid any sticky messes, I lightly spray the cookie sheet with PAM Non-Stick Cooking Spray but you can also grease the sheets with shortening.
1. Preheat oven to 350F, spray the baking sheet with cooking spray, and set aside.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and only ½ cup of the piloncillo) in a large bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Add the lard or shortening (cut into small pieces) and gently mix with a fork or a pastry blender. Keep mixing until the mixture resembles coarse oats.
3. In a small bowl, mix the milk and the egg. Beat until well combined. Slowly, pour the milk into the dry mixture little by little, gentle mixing to form the dough. Do not over-mix or knead, as this is a soft dough that doesn’t need too much work to form. If you over-knead, the cookies will be hard.
4. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and, with the palm of your hand, gently roll one piece in your working surface to form a ball. Again, do not put pressure on the dough.
5. Now, carefully pat each ball of dough to form the cookie. They don’t all have to be perfect, that’s the fun part of this recipe! Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet. Top each cookie with ½ tbsp of shaved piloncillo and place a pecan half in the center of each cookie. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.
6. Now, to have an extra golden finish on your cookies, immediately after removing from the oven, place them under your already hot broiler for one more minute, keeping a watchful eye on them. Remove from the baking sheet to a cooling rack and enjoy with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee when they cool off.