Nothing says the holidays in New Mexico like a fresh batch of biscochitos. I look forward to those anise dotted sugar cookies every year. In fact, it's pretty much the only time I eat those treats, so each bite seems laced with memories of unwrapping presents and lingering over cups of tea by the fireside.
Another way to enjoy that biscochito flavor throughout the holiday season is to lace your coffee with the anise seeds, something my family has been doing for years to add to the festive quotient of our morning cup of cheer. The fun in making you own holiday coffee blends is that you can create your own flavors (hello pumpkin spice and Aztec mocha coffees) and control the quality of ingredient. Most commercial flavored coffees are made with artificial ingredients and poor quality beans--yuck! You can also play with the strength of your flavors, from just a kiss of anise flavor in each sip to tasting the equivalent of one biscochito in each cup.
Don't forget to use good quality coffee here. I go for the Santa Fe-based Aroma Coffee's organic Black Lighting dark roast. Seriously, it has ruined me for other coffee. Once you try the good stuff, you can't go back to the so-so. This is an excellent last-minute gift as well since the prep work is virtually nada (you can keep the beans whole or grind them) and everyone appreciates a tasty beverage high on the festive quotient, but a welcome break from the heavier eggnogs and hot chocolates.
12 oz quality coffee
2 oz anise seeds
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container. You can grind your coffee right away before mixing, or grind as you go with each pot you brew. Just make sure to get some anise in each batch you grind as it might settle to the bottom of your container. Don't hesitate to play with the proportions to find the perfect balance between coffee and spice for you. Brew as you normally would. Enjoy!
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