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LOCATION: Recipes >> Mexican >> Cochinitos 01

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COCHINITOS (Piglets)

Grated zest of 1 large orange
2 4-inch cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/3 cups all purpose or unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup vegetable shortening (or lard, if you want to be more traditional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine orange zest, cinnamon sticks, orange juice and brown sugar
in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, until
sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat and let stand until cool.
Strain mixture through a fine sieve set over a small bowl, reserving
syrup and discarding the cinnamon sticks and orange zest.

Thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Place shortening in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric
mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in cooled syrup and vanilla
until blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture. If the mixer
motor labors, stir in remaining dry ingredients with a large wooden
spoon. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in waxed paper or
plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 1/2 hours. (If refrigerated
longer, let the dough warm up again slightly before rolling.

To prepare for baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease
several baking sheets. Working with one dough half at a time, roll
out on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thickness. Lift
dough and dust rolling pin with flour several times to prevent
sticking. Cut out piglets using a pig-shaped cutter. Using a
spatula, transfer the cookies to baking sheets, spacing about 1
1/4 inches apart. Gather and re-roll any dough scraps and continue
cutting out cookies until all the dough has been used. Repeat
process with second half of dough.

In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and ground cinnamon and
mix well. Sprinkle cookies lightly with cinnamon sugar. Place in
the center of the oven and bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until light
brown all over and slightly darker at edges. Remove baking sheets
from oven and let stand for about 3 minutes. Then transfer cookies
to wire racks and let stand until cooled completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Freeze for longer
storage. Makes about 35 3 1/2 inch piglets.

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