Chef Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim have returned to the kitchen to champion dinner, the most social meal of the day. In their third cookbook, Feed Zone Table, Biju and Allen offer over 100 all-new recipes to bring friends and family to the table in a way that nourishes life and sport.
Back in the day at Alameda High School we did an epic ride from Denver to Taos, New Mexico. As soon as we got off the bike, we were greeted with warm fresh-baked biscochitos, a shortbread cookie commonly served in the Southwest. Many recipes call for lard, so I’ve come up with my own interpretation here in hopes of encouraging you to try these cookies for yourself. Serve with bowls of smashed berries and honey—my take on fresh jam.
1 tablespoon anise seeds or fennel seeds
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil or butter, softened
splash of brandy (optional)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon, plus additional on top
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pint fresh raspberries
1/4 cup honey
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Soak the anise or fennel seeds in the vanilla while you prepare the dough.
In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, coconut oil or butter, eggs, and brandy, if using. Stir the mixture together until the sugar is fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Strain the vanilla and add it to the wet ingredients, reserving the anise or fennel. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients and knead the dough until it holds together and the texture becomes smooth and even. Shape the dough into a ball and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
Use a rolling pin or wine bottle to roll it out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Scatter the anise seeds or fennel on top of the dough and lightly press them in with the palm of your hand. Score the dough with a sharp knife so it will easily break apart into bite-sized servings—I like making uneven cuts to form geometric shapes. (You can also use cookie cutters.)
Sprinkle with more cinnamon and bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until they are no longer soft to the touch. Remove from oven to cool completely before breaking the cookies apart.
TO MAKE THE FRESH JAM: While the cookies are baking, combine the raspberries and honey in a small mixing bowl and mash with a wire whisk. The mixture will be thinner than traditional jam. Serve the fresh jam alongside the cookies for dipping.
You can make dinnertime better right now. Inspire your dinnertime with family-style meals from Feed Zone Table.