ALBUQUERQUE, NM (November 2010) – Albuquerque offers true Southwestern flavor this holiday season. From the cuisine to the festive luminarias lighting the way throughout the city. Albuquerque has diverse holiday shopping options, fantastic holiday cuisine and events to celebrate the season. Visit www.ItsATrip.org/Holiday for hotel discounts, holiday events, coupons, seasonal recipes and more.
Notable Holiday Events
Nov 26-28: Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Holiday Show
With cheerful music, artist demonstrations, Kids Creation Station, Holiday Cookie Walk and more, this show puts everybody in the spirit of the season. www.riograndefestivals.com
Nov 28-Dec 30: River of Lights
Thousands of twinkling lights transform the Rio Grande Botanic Garden into New Mexico’s largest walk-through holiday light show. www.cabq.gov/biopark/garden/lights.html
Dec 4: Twinkle Light Parade & Holiday Arts Festival
Local artisans will sell holiday gifts, plus pictures with Santa, holiday music, dance performances, food vendors, face painting, and the "Official Lighting" of Civic Plaza all leading up to the parade. www.cabq.gov/crs/twinklelight.html
Dec 18: New Mexico Bowl
College football post-season bowl game pits the Mountain West Conference against the Western Athletic Conference. This event will be nationally televised on ESPN. www.newmexicobowl.com
Dec 24: Luminaria Tour
Holiday Greeting Video
If you can’t experience Albuquerque’s holidays in person, enjoy this festive luminaria video to get you into the holiday spirit: http://www.ItsATrip.org/seasonsgreetings/.
Tastes of the Season
One of the most magical ways to spend the holiday season is with family and friends gathered around the dinner table enjoying delectable foods together. New Mexico’s holiday favorites include many tasty treats to share or prepare together such as tamales, biscochitos and posole. Come taste them for yourself this holiday season while visiting Albuquerque or try making them at home. Visit www.ItsATrip.org/holidayrecipes for a list of local holiday recipes. Here’s one to get you started.
These spicy, anise-flavored cookies from New Mexico are rich, crisp, and easy to make. The Biscochito is New Mexico’s Official State Cookie as declared by the New Mexico Legislature in 1989 and are very popular during the holidays. Biscochitos were first introduced to Mexico by Spanish settlers who brought the recipe from Spain.
1 ½ cups lard, chilled*
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons anise seeds
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
About 3 tablespoons brandy, apple juice, or milk*
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat lard and 1 cup sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and anise seeds, and beat until very light and fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture along with the brandy. Mix thoroughly to make a stiff dough. Place dough on a long piece, about three feet of waxed paper at one end. Bring the long end over the top and press to about one inch or slightly less in thickness and refrigerate until chilled.
Roll out dough between waxed paper to just under ½ inch thickness. Cut with flour dusted cutters into the traditional fleur de lis shape or into 3-inch rounds. Combine the 3 remaining tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl; dip unbaked cookies into the sugar-cinnamon mixture on one side. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until tops of cookies are just firm. Cool cookies on wire racks.
*Notes: Butter or margarine can be substituted for the lard, however the cookies will not be as crisp and moist. Apple juice or milk can be substituted for the brandy, however they are not quite as good.
Makes 4 dozen cookies. Recipe courtesy of Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen.
Holiday photos available upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional New Mexican holiday recipes are available at www.ItsATrip.org/holidayrecipes.