Hojarascas (Anise Tea Cookies)

HojarascasThese are traditional Mexican cookies and there seem to be several slight variations of it on the Internet–all in Spanish.  So, just in case you are not bilingual, here is our family’s recipe in English–my gift to you! The pronunciation is:  oh-ha-ras-kas.

Anise has a licorice flavor, but in my opinion, these do not taste like licorice.  The anise adds an uncommon flavor which makes these a real treat, not to mention the wonderful aroma that will waft through your home!

Hojarascas (Anise Tea Cookies)
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 dozen cookies
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ cup anise stars or 1 tablespoon dried anise
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups lard or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon sugar for dusting: (1/2 cup sugar with 2 tableslpoons ground cinnamon)
  1. In a saucepan, add ½ cup water, the cinnamon sticks and the anise. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes until concentrated and you are left with ¼ cup of tea. Allow to cool. If you don't have enough tea, add more water and brew it again.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until you have a mixture that becomes the size of small peas. Mix in the egg. Add the tea and incorporate well.
  3. Shape dough into 2 discs and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough until it is ¼ inch deep. Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters.
  6. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool and dust with cinnamon sugar.

Et cetera:  My daughter-in-law thinks these should be called pie crust cookies.  Our family loves pie crust.  Sometimes the pie filling is good, too.  Ha!  To my mother:  We miss you, Mama Moye! Thank you for all of the wonderful traditions you left behind to keep our bellies happy and our memories fond.