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Marranitos Recipe: Mexican Spice Pig Cookies

Marranitos Recipe: Mexican Spice Pig Cookies

By Nicole Presley

I’m continuing with my obsessive baking of pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) this week, and I’d like to introduce some of you to something called Marranitos (Mexican spice pig cookies). It is one of the staple sweet bread treats from Mexico.  They’re also known as “cochinitos” or “puerquitos.”  Basically they all mean “little pigs.”  Which is kind of funny, because it’s very easy to make a little pig of yourself when eating these cute little guys.

There are a handful of traditional variations as to how people make these.  Some people use molasses and others use ground ginger….Here’s the method I make that has my family squealing for more every time.

Ingredients for marranitos cookies:

  • 1/2 – cup water
  • 2 – pilloncillo cones
  • 2 – sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 – cloves
  • 1 – anise star
  • 2 – cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus a little more to roll and cut the dough with)
  • 1 – teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 – teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 – teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 – teaspoon salt
  • 5 – tablespoons butter (room temp)
  • 2 – eggs
  • 1 – pig cookie cutter
  • Egg wash:
  • 1 – egg
  • 1 – tablespoon water


  1. In a small sauce pan over a medium flame add water, pilloncillo, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and anise star. Mix until pilloncillo dissolves completely. Bring mixture to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from flame and set to the side. Allow mixture/syrup to sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Pour mixture/syrup through a sieve and remove cinnamon sticks, and other spices. Set to the side for a later use.
  3. In a mixer add flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda, ground ginger, salt, and butter. Mix to combine completely.
  4. Add in egg, and continue mixing.
  5. Add in syrup to the flour/butter/egg mixture and mix to combine.
  6. Remove from mixer and knead with hands. Add a little more flour if needed. Dough should not be sticky.
  7. Place dough in a plastic wrap or bag (air tight) and place in the fridge over night.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  9. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.
  10. Cut with pig cookie cutter and place on a baking mat lined cookie sheet.
  11. In a small bowl whisk together egg and water to make an egg wash. Brush each cookie with egg wash.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on bake sheet for 5 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  13. Enjoy!