If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting the Land of Enchantment, aka, New Mexico, than you have more than likely had the pleasure of tasting one of its sweet treasures, the Biscochitos or bizcochitos. This delectable treat consists of a crisp buttery cookie, flavored with cinnamon, sugar and a sprinkling of crushed anise seeds. Developed over centuries from the Spanish colonists, known as Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico, this wonderful cookie continued to be baked and passed down by the residents of New Mexico.
Cruz Navarro was born in Hereford, TX but grew up in New Mexico. Coming from a long line of Mexican immigrants, Cruz had many wonderful Mexican cuisine recipes passed down to her from her grandmother Dolores Morales and her mother Aurora Meza Ontiveros.
Though Cruz lost her beloved mother and grandmother at a young age, she was able to save many of their precious recipes, many of which, were handwritten on faded recipe cards and loose, worn pages, each tucked safely away in a few cookbooks that Cruz would put away for safe keeping.
Months passed, then one day, Cruz began going through her mother’s things and found the books and recipes. Wanting to share her mother’s treats with others, she began making the bizcochito in 1984 and has been making them ever since.
The old meets the new…
In 1985 Cruz met her new neighbor, Mary Haarmeyer, a newly-wed who knocked on her door, introduced herself then handed her a plate of peanut butter cookies. Being new to the neighborhood, Cruz thought it odd that Mary would bring her cookies, but took the gift, invited her in and they soon became quick friends. Each sharing their traditions, recipes and a part in one another’s families.
At family cookouts, Cruz was always surprised to see that Mary could handle the jalapenos and green chilies far better than she and most of her Hispanic family did. In fact, her friend always found ways to put their home-made hot sauce and peppers on just about everything, so Cruz should not have been surprised when Mary came to her with a new idea…
Mary wanted to take her family recipe and add some spice to her sacred biscochitos. Cruz was reluctant at first, but then… Mary had talked her into trying many weird combos in the past, M&M’s and popcorn for one, which had turned out to be great at the movies.
With more than a little trepidation, the two began experimenting with everything from jalapenos, green chilies, ghost peppers to cayenne. To say a few of those early cookies were a complete, inferno of a failure, would be an understatement. However, after a few months and dozens and dozens of attempts, the New Mexico Hottie was born! Along with the New Mexico Sweetie for those with a more delicate palate.
The new, little cookie was not only sweet but had a nice timid burn at the end to let you know you have had a real taste of New Mexico chili to go only with your old favorite.
Cruz and Mary tested out numerous cookies on family, friends and co-workers finding that the New Mexico Hottie was everyone’s favorite. So much so, that they were asked to package them for everyone where they could share this new sweet and spicey cookie with others.
We hope you enjoy this wonderful traditional cookie mixed with new heat from the New Mexico culture.