This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Dec 4, 2023

Orange Biscochos

These biscochos, cookies flavored with oranges, cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger, are a favorite Christmas cookie in El Paso and New Mexico. Plus, they are seriously tasty. 

Orange Biscochos in a bowl.


These cinnamon sugar cookies are also the official state cookie of New Mexico, where they are called biscochitos (or bizcochitos). 

The cookies are offered during the Las Posadas festival, which is a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph's journey as they seek shelter once they get to Bethlehem for the census before the birth of Jesus. 

Orange Biscochos in a bowl with a small plate in front.

In Mexico, they can be called pan de polvo or hojarascas, depending on the region. 

Traditionally, these cookies are flavored with cinnamon and sugar along with anise, however, you can skip the anise if you're not fond of the flavor (which is faintly licorice). 

These biscochos also include the scent of oranges. There is orange juice, orange zest, and orange oil in the dough, along with vanilla to create sort of a hint of creamsicle. In reality, the dominant flavor is cinnamon. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. 

Orange Biscochos on a light green plate.

These are basically a sugar cookie coated with cinnamon sugar (and sometimes ground anise). The dough can either be rolled and cut with a cookie cutter, or added to a cookie press to form various shapes, like spritz cookies

Or as my friend Dorothy refers to them, "cookie gun cookies." 

P.S. There are also Sephardic biscochos, which are sesame cookie rings, along with Filipino biscochos, which are more like biscotti. In Spanish, biscocho actually translates to "biscuit," so the term can be fairly generic in Mexico. 

These cookies are a take on the El Paso and New Mexico versions. 

Orange Biscochos in a bowl with a small plate in front.

Ingredients You Will Need:

Pantry Ingredients: All purpose flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, pure vanilla extract, and sugar. 

Refrigerator Ingredients: Egg.

Orange Flavoring: 

Orange Liqueur. I used Patrón, but Triple Sec or Cointreau will also work. 

Freshly squeezed orange juice along with a tablespoon of orange zest. 

Orange oil. This ingredient is optional, but will really enhance the orange scent and flavor. I keep mine in the refrigerator. 

Fat: You can use either lard (more authentic) or shortening. I used butter-flavored shortening. 

Orange Biscochos in a bowl.

The hardest part of having these cookies around is not eating them all, one-by-one. After all, they are so tiny! 

To Make these Biscochos: 

First, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in one bowl and the orange juice, liqueur, vanilla, orange oil, and orange zest in another bowl. 

Next, beat the shortening until fluffy in a stand mixer, add the sugar, and then beat in the egg. 

After that, add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating it with the orange juice mixture. 

Finally, add the dough to your cookie press and portion out the cookie shapes onto your parchment lined baking sheet. 

Tip: The first cookie you press out of your cookie press will probably be wonky. If you don't like any shaped cookie from your cookie press for whatever reason, just add the dough back into the bowl and then use it the next time you refill the press. 

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. 

Orange Biscochos on a green plate.

Once you've baked the cookies, toss them while they are still warm in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. You can also add ground anise to the mixture if you like. 

Equipment You May Need:

My favorite cookie press is the OXO one. It also comes with a few recipes and a great instruction booklet. 

You will also need a stand mixer for combining the shortening or lard with the sugar. If you don't have one, a hand mixer will also work. 

Bake the cookies on parchment lined baking sheets. Do not grease the pans. You want the dough to stick once you press it out of the cookie press. 

Orange Biscochos in a bowl with a plate in front.

These cookies can easily be made ahead and frozen to save for later. They're great for Christmas gifts and cookie platters too. 

The recipe makes about 120 small cookies! 

More Christmas Cookies You May Also Enjoy:

German Christmas Cookies

Cinnamon Spiral Cookies

Christmas Ornament Cookies

Almond Spice Christmas Wreath Cookies

Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

Melting Snowman Cookies

Orange Biscochos in little plates.

Christmas Cookie Week Banner.

Christmas Cookies Week Recipes!

  • Yuletide Bliss Pinwheel Cookies by A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Hot Cocoa Candy Cane Cake Mix Cookies by Blogghetti
  • Ginger's Cherry Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Cookies by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
  • Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies by Hezzi-D's Recipe Box
  • Chocolate Drizzled Ravioli Cookies by Jolene's Recipe Journal
  • Baby Jesus Cookies by Our Good Life
  • Maple Sugar Cookies by Palatable Pastime
  • Mocha Viennese Swirls by That Recipe
  • Peppermint Shortbread by The Spiffy Cookie

  • Orange Biscochos on a light green plate.

    Orange Biscochos

    Orange Biscochos
    Yield: 120 cookies
    Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
    Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M
    These biscochos, cookies flavored with oranges, cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger, are a favorite Christmas cookie in El Paso, Texas. Plus, they are seriously tasty.


    For the Cookies
    • 375 grams (3 cups) all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 1/8 teaspoon orange oil (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
    • 225 grams (1 cup) butter flavored shortening or lard
    • 150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    For the Cinnamon Sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground anise (optional)


    1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
    3. In a small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, whisk together the juice, orange zest, orange oil, liqueur, and vanilla.
    4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the shortening or lard on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the granulated sugar and egg until smooth and combined.
    5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and slowly beat it in until just combined. Add 1/2 of the orange juice mixture and beat it in. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and very slowly beat it in. Add the rest of the orange juice mixture and briefly beat. Add the rest of the flour mixture and briefly beat. Use your hands to briefly knead the dough to bring it together in the bowl.
    6. Add some of the dough to your cookie press. Hold the cookie press straight up against your baking sheet and press out your cookie shapes, according to your cookie press' directions. Space the cookies about 1 inch apart.
    7. Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes. While the cookies are baking, combine the Cinnamon Sugar ingredients in a sheet pan.
    8. When the cookies are done, let them cool on the pan for about five minutes and then toss them in the cinnamon sugar. Transfer them to a wire rack over a baking sheet to cool completely.
    9. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Be sure to let the pans cool completely before reusing. Cover the unused dough with a dishcloth to prevent it from drying out while you are working with the rest of the dough.

    Nutrition Facts



    Fat (grams)

    2 g

    Sat. Fat (grams)

    0 g

    Carbs (grams)

    5 g

    Fiber (grams)

    0 g

    Net carbs

    5 g

    Sugar (grams)

    2 g

    Protein (grams)

    0 g

    Cholesterol (grams)

    2 mg
    Did you make this recipe?
    Tag on instagram and hashtag it #karenskitchenstories

    Recipe adapted from Muy Bueno Fiestas

    Would you like to comment?

    1. I love these flavors together! What a fun addition to my cookie menu.

      1. They are great for filling out a cookie tray.

    2. What great little pop in your mouth treats and the flavor profile is right up my alley. Thanks Karen.

    3. "Cookie Gun Cookies" are always so fun to make! And these cookies...WOW! All of that orange and spice flavor...definitely a cookie I want to snack on!

    4. Haha, I was just telling a friend that I need to use my "cookie gun" more often. I love the sound of these cookies and perfect for the holidays.

    5. What a wonderful combination of flavors and spices! I've never heard of these but they are definitely going on my holiday baking list!

      1. I love learning about the different cookies of various cultures.

    6. Time to break out the cookie gun. You always share such delicious and interesting recipes, orange and cinnamon together sounds amazing!

      1. Thank you! I love trying new flavors and techniques. Thanks so much for putting this together.

    7. The flavor profile of these bisochos sound yummy! The cookies look adorable.


    I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.