Marranitos are a childhood favorite.
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They have many names including Puerquitos, Mexican piggy cookies, Mexican gingerbread pig cookies, and cochinitos.
All referring to these “little pigs.”
They are amongst the most popular Mexican sweet bread, or pan dulce.
Soft like a cake, slightly chewy, and hard enough to be considered a cookie.
Like most Mexican desserts, they are not very sweet, but sweet enough.
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The traditional recipe for marranitos uses a syrup that is made with piloncillo and the spices. No molasses is used.
The recipe I’m showing you here is EASIER and has fewer steps.
Piloncillo does not come grated. Grate the piloncillo in order for it to mix well with the other ingredients.
Can’t find it at the store? Buy piloncillo online.
- Cream the butter.
- Scrape down the sides.
- Add the grated piloncillo, spices, and orange zest.
- Mix to combine.
We do not need the juice of the orange, just the zest. It will add lots of flavor to the cookie.
Notice how there is NO GINGER in this recipe. Some people will add ground ginger, but it’s not part of the original recipe.
People call these cookies “Mexican Piggy Gingerbread Cookies” because they resemble American gingerbread cookies.
- Add the eggs and molasses.
- Add the flour little by little until a small dough forms.
You want everything to be mixed well.
Once the dough forms, TOUCH IT. Your hands should not stick to the dough.
If you’re working in warm weather, the dough might not come together easily. Slowly add a ¼ cup more of flour at a time until the dough forms.
- Divide the dough into two.
- Place one of the dough pieces to the center of a plastic wrap.
- Wrap to form a small disk. Repeat with the second dough.
- Place the dough pieces in the fridge for 2 hours.
Is refrigerating cookie dough necessary?
In this case, YES! Refrigerating cookie dough will help in holding the shape better. This is especially important for cut-out cookies like this one. When it’s cold, the fat solidifies and the cookies won’t spread.
- Remove the dough from the fridge.
- Dust with flour. Turn and dust the bottom too.
- Roll out and cut out the marranitos.
Work with the dough quickly. Do not let it get warm. If you see it getting warm, return to the fridge.
Keep the other dough piece in the fridge as you work with the other one.
Roll out to about ¼ inch.
Cookie Cutter – this can be easily found on Amazon.
- Place the cut out piggy cookies on a baking sheet.
- Brush with egg wash.
Egg wash is made with a combination of egg and water.
Some people will use milk instead of water. Whatever you prefer is fine.
It will create a smooth look on the top of the cookie once it’s baked.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes.
Once they are ready, place on a wire rack to COOL.
As tempting as they will look, the piggy cookies need to cool completely before eating.
Other Mexican Pan Dulce Recipes:
Marranitos (or Puerquitos) are delicious Mexican piggy cookies that are perfect for breakfast or as an after school treat.
Dunk into milk or a big cup of café de la olla. They’re a joy to eat.
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- In a large bowl, beat butter until soft and creamy.
- Add the piloncillo, vanilla, baking soda, ground cinnamon, orange zest, salt, anise, and ground cloves.
- Mix until everything is combined, scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Add in 2 eggs and molasses.
- Mix to combine.
- Add the flour.
- Mix little by little until a dough forms.
- Divide the dough in two.
- Cover with plastic and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Add flour to a table, roll half of the dough out. About ¼ inch thick.
- Be careful not to roll out too thin.
- Dust the cookie cutter with flour.
- Cut out the shapes with the cookie cutter.
- Place the unbaked marranitos on a cookie sheet. About 2 inches apart.
- Mix the last egg with 2 tablespoons water to create an egg wash.
- Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes.
- Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- Cool completely.
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.