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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich piggy cookies

Chochinitos: Galletas de Piloncillo y Canela
Makes 30 medium sized cookies (with a 4-inch cookie cutter)

12 oz piloncillo, chopped or grated, or substitute for 1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 true or ceylon cinnamon stick, about 3″ long
2 sticks or 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp honey
4 1/4 cups all purpose flour, you may need a bit more
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
Butter to grease a cookie/baking sheet
2 to 3 tbsp all purpose flour, you may need a bit more or less, to roll out the dough
1 egg, lightly beaten to be used as a glaze
Confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle on top, optional

In a saucepan, combine grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar with water and cinnamon. Place over medium heat, once it simmers, lower the heat to keep it at a medium-low simmer for about 15 minutes, until it thickens to a light syrup consistency. Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick. You should have now about 1 1/4 cups piloncillo liquid, need not be exact! Add butter and honey into the hot liquid and stir until it dissolves.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a hole in the center and pour in the piloncillo mixture. Mix it all together with a spatula until it is well incorporated. Combine the eggs into the dough, which will be sticky and gooey. Seriously: it will be GOOEY and that is OK.

Place plastic wrap in the bottom of a mixing bowl to have wings on the sides. With a spatula, push the dough onto the plastic wrap, wrap the dough, and refrigerate anywhere from 2 hours to a couple days.

When you are ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a couple cookie or baking sheets with butter.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle a couple tablespoons of flour on a countertop. Rub a bit of flour on the rolling pin as well. Roll out the dough which will now be firmer, until you have about 1/4 -inch thickness. Using piggie cookie cutters (or other shapes, but then you may need to change the name!) press down on the dough, moving it a bit on the counter top, to make it easier to lift the shaped dough.

Place the piggies on the baking sheet as you shape them along. Gently brush the cookie tops with the remaining egg. Roll the leftover dough into a ball, wrap it with the plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before using it again, or it will be too soft and sticky. Repeat to make the remaining cookies.

Bake the cookies anywhere from 7 to 9 minutes. Remove them from the oven and place on a cooking rack. You may sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top. Keep them covered so they remain soft.

My boys love to eat them with a tall glass of milk, I like them with a hot cup of coffee.


Oh Pati!
I made these tonight and was looking forward to the piloncillo flavor. I didn’t taste it as much as I would have liked. I did taste a lot of baking soda and baking powder and I double checked my measurements. The taste overall was too much baking soda and baking powder with some sweetness. Wawawa’. Sorry Pati.

Hola Elvia, Thank you for your comment. I have tested and tried soooo many recipes for these cookies, and this is the one I tweaked and tweaked and like the best! But we all have different palates. So, I encourage you to make the adjustments to the recipe, try less of both, they will be less fluffy, but probably more to your liking :)

Hi Pati,
I’ve made these cookies several times and I think they’re delicious. I’d never heard of piloncillo before your show – I found some for this recipe and it gives them an interesting mild molasses-y flavor. Love your show- I’m making the tomatillo lime jam this weekend.

After watching your show, I am looking forward to making these yummy sounding cookies. Where did you get the incredibly cute piggy cookie cutters in three different sizes please?

Hola Tanina, I got the piggy cookie cutters a long time ago in Mexico. But they sell copper, hand made cookie cutters just like them online and in all different sizes too. I hope this helps!

Hello Pati,

I made these today New Year’s 2013, and they were fantastic!!!! My family loved them. I followed your recipe exactly on measurements. I will add, that I simmered the piloncillo and cinnamon stick nice and slow, until I smelled the aroma of the cinnamon. Although the cookies were gingermen shaped, the flavor was still outstanding.
Thank you so much for the great recipe.

Hi Pati,

I just realized I bought light brown sugar, will that may a huge difference since your recipe asks for dark brown?

Thank you!

Hola Paloma, go ahead and use the light brown sugar, it should be fine. The dark brown sugar adds more depth of flavor and makes the taste a bit more rustic. But the cookies should be delicious anyway!

Hello everydbody,

I actually export directly from Mexico organic Piloncillo for cooking.

I do it via Etsy.

If you are interested in the Piloncillo I will be glad to assist you and answer any questions about this product.

Here follow the link of my product in Etsy.

Come to visit me.

Best regards

Hi Pati, I mistakenly added the honey in the beginning with the cinnamon sugar and water. Will this affect the outcome? Thank you!

Hi Paloma, They should still turn out fine!

I love cochinitos, too. The darker, the better! I think they are made using the same recipe as chichimbre. (My mother-in-law makes great chichimbre, she used to sell it, too.) I have a theory that chichimbre is the Mexican take on gingerbread. So I also think cochinitos are related to gingerbread.

I don’t think they sell molasses where I live in Mexico. They have big trucks of melaza, but that seems to just be for cows. No one here seems to think it’s edible.

I want to make these but I need piggy cook cutter where can I get one love these cookie

Try Amazon!

I love these cookie , want to make it I need the cookie piggy cookie cuter where can I get one

I dont bake often but I had extra piloncillo and wanted to use it in something other than ponche. This recipe is very simple to follow.

The only thing I did differently was added 2 3/4 cups of piloncillo instead of the recommended amount.

My cookies came out perfect and taste delicious. My family requested I make more as soon as this batch runs out. :-) My dad used to work at a Mexican bakery so for him to love them so much is a big compliment.

Thanks for the great recipe and a new Christmas tradition.

I’m glad it was a hit!

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