Coricos (Mexican Corn Cookies)
Mexican coricos cookies have a nice crumbly texture, and subtle spiced aroma, and are sweetened with piloncillo. They are naturally gluten-free and perfect to serve with coffee in the morning or your favorite tea in the afternoon.
Coricos are Mexican corn cookies made of masa harina, piloncillo, shortening or lard, and eggs. The recipe is popular in the states of Sinaloa, Sonora, and Baja California.
The cookies are usually shaped into a small ring and are known by other names such as tacuarines, coricochis, coricos de harinillas, biscochos, and bizcochuelos.
Coricos are a bit similar in texture to polvorones but with a delicious corn and spiced flavor.
There are some variations of this recipe that are made in a similar way and that include other ingredients such as all-purpose flour, pinole, coffee, milk, and vanilla.
- Masa harina: The same used to make corn tortillas, you can find it at any Mexican store or in some supermarkets in the international aisle. The most popular brand is Maseca but you can use any brand you prefer.
- Butter: You can also use lard if you prefer. In Sonora and Sinaloa, the recipe is made using vegetable shortening, but I prefer using unsalted butter or lard instead.
- Eggs: Make sure they are at room temperature, 2 medium eggs that weigh between 1,7-2 oz each (50-60 g).
- Piloncillo: To make the syrup and sweeten the cookies, you can substitute it for packed brown sugar (read notes).
- Spices and extras: Cinnamon, anise star, and whole cloves to add some aroma. Baking powder and salt for the texture of the cookies.
A note about the four: Masa harina is a special type of corn flour that comes from corn kernels that have been treated with an alkaline solution to help them to release their nutrients. Because of this, neither corn flour nor cornmeal are good substitutes for masa harina.
How To Make Coricos
Gather all your ingredients and make sure they are at room temperature. Lightly flour 2 baking sheets and set them aside.
Step 1: Make the piloncillo syrup
Place water in a medium saucepan and add piloncillo, cinnamon stick, anise star, and whole cloves.
Bring to a boil, set the heat to low, and simmer while stirring from time to time until piloncillo is dissolved and has become an aromatic and light syrup (about 10 minutes).
Remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool down completely.
Top Tip: Do not add the piloncillo syrup to the dough while is still warm or it will melt the butter and compromise the dough’s texture!
Step 2: Make the dough
Place lard or butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add salt and, using the wire whip, mix at high speed until light and fluffy (about 7 minutes).
Add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated.
Add masa harina, and baking powder. Use the paddles and start kneading the dough at low speed while pouring the piloncillo syrup until everything is fully incorporated.
In the end, the dough should have a texture like play dough and don’t stick to your hands.
Step 3: Shape the cookies
Pinch a bit of the dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.
Place the ball on a surface and with the palm of your hands roll it into a rope about 5-6 inches (13 cm) long.
Take both ends of a rope and overlap them, pressing a little bit to make a ring shape.
Repeat until all dough is used and transfer the unbaked cookies to a baking sheet lightly floured with masa harina.
Step 4: Bake
Preheat your oven to 360°F/180°C and bake the cookies between 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove the sheet from the oven and allow the corn cookies to rest for 5 minutes, then with a spatula remove them and place them on a cooling rack.
- Sub the piloncillo. You can replace piloncillo with 3/4 cup packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup of molasses, then add water as needed.
- Use a scale. For better results, use a scale to measure the ingredients, you can find the quantities by clicking on the “Metric” option in the recipe card below.
- Gift them. Place these Mexican corn cookies on a cellophane bag, tie it with a festive ribbon, add a personalized tag, and there you go, a nice homemade gift that everyone will appreciate!
Just like a regular cookie, you can serve those galletas with your coffee in the morning (we love café de olla), a glass of milk, your favorite tea, or oatmeal atole.
Sometimes I like to crumble them and use them to top sweet corn ice cream. Or just serve them dusted with confectioner’s sugar as a dessert or snack.
Allow the Mexican corn cookies to cool down completely, then transfer them into an airtight container or a zip bag and store them at room temperature for up to one week.
Storing in a container with a tight lid will prevent air and moisture from getting inside and softening or stale your cookies.
Where do Coricos come from?
Coricos are from some northern states of Mexico like Sinaloa, Sonora, and Baja California.
How Do They Taste?
Coricos have a lightly sweet taste with earthy and smoky flavors from corn, piloncillo, and spices.
More Mexican Cookies Recipes
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Coricos (Mexican Corn Cookies)
- 4 cups Masa harina
- 1 cup butter (read note 1)
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
For the syrup
- 5 oz piloncillo
- 1 cup water
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 anise star
- 2 whole cloves
Make the piloncillo syrup
- Pour water into a medium saucepan and add piloncillo, cinnamon stick, anise star, and whole cloves.
- Bring to a boil, set the heat to low, and simmer while stirring from time to time until piloncillo is dissolved and a light syrup has formed (about 10 minutes).
- Allow to cool down completely.
Make the dough
- Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add salt and, using the wire whip, mix at high speed until light and fluffy (about 7 minutes).
- Add the eggs and mix at high until fully incorporated.
- Add masa harina, and baking powder. Use the paddles and knead the dough at low speed while pouring the piloncillo syrup until everything is fully incorporated.
Shape the cookies
- Pinch a little bit of the dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.
- Roll the ball into a rope about 5-6 inches (13 cm) long.
- Take both ends of a rope and overlap them, pressing a little bit to make a ring shape. Repeat with all ropes until all are shaped
- Transfer shaped cookies to a baking sheet lightly floured with masa harina.
- Preheat oven to 360°F/180°C
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookies are lightly brown.
- Remove the sheet from the oven and leave it to rest for 5 minutes.
- Carefully, using a spatula, remove the cookies and place them on a cooling rack.
- Enjoy the corn cookies right away or store them in an airtight container.
- You can use butter, lard, or vegetable shortening to make this recipe.
- You can skip making the piloncillo syrup and just go with 3/4 cup brown sugar + 2/3 cup water instead.
I made these corn cookies yesterday and they were amazing! the recipe is so easy to follow. And now I know that coricos are a staple in Sonora, thanks! :D
Hi Maricruz! I am from Colima too!!! and I confess I never heard of coricos cookies before, thank you for saying the origin of the recipe, is very important to know these things. They looks amazing btw so I might try them once since I have maseca and piloncillo always at home.
Follow the syrup recipe given in the recipe. If dough is crumbly add more syrup until it can be rolled out.
I used very thick homemade golden syrup slightly diluted so Spices could be steeped in it. The ratio of liquid to dry was off and the dough wasn’t sticky/ wet enough to roll and shape. Would be nice if the recipe stated ounces of liquid as a light syrup isn’t an accurate measurement. With remaining dough I added agave syrup and the dough held together and rolled out forming the rounds. May try again noting liquid measurement to dry ingredient ratio.
Thanks to this recipe my coricos came out great! You need some practice to get the dough right so my advice is to start adding only half of the syrup and knead, from there, add more of needed. The flavor of those corn cookies are amazing and something worth to try.