Coricos Corn Cookies

Mexican coricos cookies have a nice crumbly texture, subtle spiced aroma, and are sweetened with piloncillo. They are naturally gluten-free and perfect to serve with a coffee in the morning or your favorite tea in the afternoon.

Coricos piled on a white wooden surface.

What are Coricos?

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 known with other names such as tacuarines, coricochis, coricos de harinillas, biscochos, and bizcochuelos.

There are some variations of this recipe that are made in a similar way in various states in the Huasteca region and that include other ingredients such as all-purpose flour, pinole, coffee, milk, and vanilla.

Coricos corn cookies on a wood white surface with a glass of milk on the side.

The ingredients needed

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.

Butter: You can also use lard if you prefer. In Sonora and Sinaloa, the recipe is made using shortening, but I prefer using 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 swap 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.

Ingredients for coricos labeled and displayed on a marble surface.

How To Make The Recipe

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 the 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).

Piloncillo syrup on a small pan.

Remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool down completely.

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).

Fluffy butter close-up.

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.

The corn dough for coricos on a stand mixer bowl.

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.

The dough rolled into a ball.

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.

Rolling the coricos dough into a rope.

Take both ends of a rope and overlap them, pressing a little bit to make a ring shape.

Collage showing how to shape coricos.

Repeat until all dough is used and transfer the unbaked coricos to a baking sheet lightly floured with masa harina.

Unbaked coricos corn cookies on a baking sheet.

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 to rest for 5 minutes, then with a spatula remove the cookies and place them in a cooling rack.

Freshly baked coricos placed on a cooling rack.

Useful Notes

  • 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 clicking on the “Metric” option in the recipe card below.
  • Gift them. Place the Mexican corn cookies on a cellophan bag, tie with a festive ribbon, add a personalized tag, and there you go, a nice homemade gift that everyone will appreciate!

How To Eat

Just like a regular cookie, you can serve those Mexican corn treats with your coffee in the morning (we love café de olla), a glass of milk, your favorite tea, or oat meal atole.

Sometimes I like to break them and use them to top sweet corn ice cream. Or just serve them dusted with confectioner’s sugar for dessert or snack.

Close-up on a corico to see the crumbly texture.

Store

Allow the coricos 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.

More Mexican Cookies Recipes

Watch How To Make It

Coricos Recipe

Coricos Corn Cookies

author Maricruz
Those delicious cookies are made with masa harina, butter, eggs, and a delicious piloncillo syrup.
prep 30 minutes
cook 15 minutes
total 45 minutes
serving 30 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions
 

Make the piloncillo syrup

  • Pour water in a medium saucepan and add piloncillo, cinnamon stick, anise star, and the whole cloves.
  • Bring to a boil, set the heat to low and simmer, while stirring from time to time until piloncillo is disolved 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.

Bake

  • Preheat oven to 360°F/180°C
  • Bake from 15 to 18 minutes or until cookies are lightly brown.
  • Remove the sheet from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully, using an spatula, remove the cookies and place them in a cooling rack.
  • Enjoy the corn cookies right away or store in an airtight container.

Notes

  1. Butter can be replaced shortening, as the traditional Coricos are made in modern days. Since I don’t like to use trans fats in my recipes, I recommend using lard instead.
  2. You can skip making the piloncillo syrup and just go with 3/4 cup brown sugar + 2/3 cup water instead. 
Nutrition Information
Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 319IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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.

  2. 3 stars
    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.