Memories of my trips to la panaderia(bakery) instantly flood my thoughts when I think of these tasty marranitos. Also called puerquitos and even cochinitos by some, these ginger and molasses cookies are one of the most popular when it comes to Mexican sweet bread. I think as a kid it was more about who would get the Big Pig Cookie first! Lol! If it wasn’t fresh, it could tend to be a bit on the dry side, but we didn’t care. It was the big pig cookie! This marranito recipe is revised from an older recipe I learned a few years back. The old recipe was good, but my cookies did not bake up as puffy and soft as I would have liked. It was a simple fix of adding an extra egg. I also switched to shortening instead of butter to keep it a little more traditional with the ingredients. Don’t quote me on that though, they may have used pork lard back in the day! I will have to do a little research to know for sure. It’s all part of the learning process and I love every minute of it. Finding that pig cookie cutter was not an easy task. For a couple of years I searched the internet, until finally last year I located them on Amazon. I ordered it right away! I always add this recipe to my fall and holiday baking to share with friends and family. #marranitos #pandulce
The Video Recipe Varies From The Written Recipe Below. I used my stand mixer this time. I omitted the ginger and orange zest to keep the recipe more traditional.
- 2/3 cup shortening or unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed grated piloncillo or brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground canela cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground anise
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 eggs plus 1 more for egg wash
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 3 1/3-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- In a large bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, orange zest, salt, ground cloves and anise. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs and molasses until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough at a time to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes with a lightly floured 4 to 5 inch pig shape cookie cutter. Place cutouts 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
- Whisk the third egg with a little water and brush the tops of unbaked marranitos. Bake in preheated oven for 11 to 13 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, let cool.
- To store, layer cookies between wax paper in an airtight storage container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for 2 months.
Do not skip the step of chilling the dough. You can even prepare the dough a few days ahead and keep it chilled until you are ready to use it.
The cookie cutter comes in a few sizes online. Resist purchasing the larger one, unless you want one giant marranito that can feed 4 people!
Don’t roll your dough out too thin.
Don’t crowd you baking pan. Five marranitos per large baking pan.
The crackled look is just what you want for a more authentic looking cookie.
Do you remember the big red trays and tongs when you enter the big panaderias? It’s like they are daring you to fill every space on that tray!
[…] Marranitos, puerquitos or cochinitos are all names that come to mind when I think of this pig cookie. This recipe is adapted from the more traditional big pig cookie(bread) that you could find by clicking onto this link. https://pinaenlacocina.com/how-to-prepare-mexican-marranitos-puerquitos/ […]
When do you apply the egg wash?
Hi! Sorry about that. I forgot to add that to the directions. I added it in now. Thanks for pointing that out to me. You brush them with egg wash before baking them.
My favorite with cup of hot coffee!. Now I have a recipe, thank you. AND I love that rolling pin. What kind is it? Is it easy to find.
Thank you Sherrill. The rolling pin was made by a local craftsmen. But if you go online to the Texas Rolling Pin site, I believe they have similar ones.
Hi I just added the 3 cups of flour and my dough seems a little dry, is on the fridge now, what can I do to make it more moist? Thanks
I am sorry Ale, I am just checking my emails on my blog at 9:44 p.m. Not sure why the dough would be dry. The dough is thick. Was is crumbly dry? I would suggest kneading it on a flat surface before chilling it. You could mix in a little bit more shortening, but you really don’t want the dough to be too soft. If you message me on my Facebook page, I will get the questions faster. Sorry it took so long.
My abuelo worked in a panderia and would bring some kind of Mexican bread home to us every day. This was 70 yrs. ago, when I was just 4 yrs. old. One of my few memories of him.
That is such a wonderful memory of your abuelo Jennie.
These look wonderful! I grew up in North Texas and my granddad would always have a paper bag filled with marranitos when we could come to visit. It was our little tradition. The orange zest sounds like a tasty addition. I will have to try out your recipe soon.
Jenny, that is such a wonderful memory. I could almost see your granddad standing there with his paper bags of marranitos. So heartwarming!!
Ashley L. Valladares
How much Anise do you use? I don’t see that on your ingredients list but it’s in step one.
Hi Ashley, the amount was there, but next to the cloves, not below it. I fixed it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
Ashley L. Valladares
Thank you so much! I’ve looked everywhere for traditional marranitos cookies and I think this is going to be the one!!
Thank You Ashley!
I love cochinitos! My favorite childhood memories were of my parents stopping at the panaderia every Sunday after Mass. I would devour my cochinito before we walked out the door!
I don’t like to bake, but I’ll make an exception for these. I can taste them now, dipped in to my cafecito!
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for stopping by Esther! Cochinitos remind me of being a kid too!
Excited to try this! A question, I’m not a fan of anise flavor, is there an alternative?
You can just leave it out Rebecca. No worries.
This brings back so many wonderful memories of las meriendas with my grandparents. Now, is there a way to adapt the recipe to be more agreeable to a diabetic diet without losing the flavor?
I wish I was more informed and educated on how to make them diabetic friendly, but I am not. I don’t have much experience cooking with sugar substitutes and different flours.