Biscochitos (Anise-Flavored Cookies)

Mark Masker Cooking with Chiles at the Holidays Leave a Comment

Although history doesn’t reveal the origin of these cookies, it’s believed that they were created by the descendants of the early Spanish settlers in New Mexico. Traditionally they are served at the holiday season and can be found gracing tables after the lighting of the luminaries on Christmas Eve. They are so popular that they have been declared the Official State Cookie. New Mexico is probably the only state that has one! These flaky cookies with a hint of anise must be prepared with lard for the traditional taste, although shortening can be substituted.

Charcoal-Grilled Fruit for Dessert

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

Mixed Grill. Cut fruit of choice in half, remove core and seeds or pits, and arrange in a hinged grill. Squeeze a lemon over the surfaces; sprinkle with sugar and a dash of ground cinnamon and grill quickly until just hot. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle a little brandy or sweet liqueur over all.” –Maggie Waldron


Suggested Fruits for Grilling

  • Banana–Sliced in half lengthwise

  • Mango–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Orange–Single sections

  • Papaya–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Peach–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Pear–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Pineapple–1/2 inch thick rings

  • Strawberry–Sliced in half



Grand Marnier Ancho Chocolate Dessert Kabobs

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

A purchased cake works well in this recipe and you don’t have to go to the trouble of baking one from scratch. You can substitute Kahlua or other coffee liqueur for the Grand Marnier, and you can use other fruits such as pineapple.


Grand Marnier Sauce

  • 8 ounce milk chocolate bar

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liquor

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile

The Fruit Kabobs

  • 1 medium ripe peach, peeled, cut into wedges

  • 1 sightly under ripe banana, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 12 1-inch cubes angel food cake

  • Grated orange peel, fresh mint leaves for garnish


Soak 4 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.


To make the sauce, break up the chocolate and melt it in a saucepan over very low heat. Add the cream, stir well, and remove from the heat. Add the Grand Marnier and chile and stir well.

Using two skewers together to prevent flopping, thread the peaches, bananas, and cake onto the skewers.

Grill the kabobs directly over medium heat until the cake is toasted, turning once.

To serve, remove the fruit and cake from the skewers and place on plates. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, and garnish with orange zest and mint leaves.