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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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 coricos 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 to rest for 5 minutes, then with a spatula remove the cookies and place them in 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 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
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.
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
- Coyotas – Stuffed with piloncillo and dulce de leche (cajeta).
- Galletas de grageas – Made with sprinkles.
- Polvorones – A mix between a cookie and pan dulce.
Watch How To Make It
Coricos 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can skip making the piloncillo syrup and just go with 3/4 cup brown sugar + 2/3 cup water instead.