These cute little Mexican gingerbread piggies are made with molasses and usually found in your local Pan Dulce bakery. I was very curious to know the history of these pig-shaped cookies and did a little research…these were supposedly introduced in the 16th century in the state of Veracruz after the Spaniards conquered and colonized México. The Spanish brought many new animals to México with them like cows, sheep, horses, donkeys, and pigs. These animals were unfamiliar to native Mexicans, and later when they began making breads, they experimented with different flavors and shapes of bread…this was the introduction of pan dulce as we know it today. One of those shapes they experimented with was the little pig, or Marran, the formal Spanish word for pig. I loved reading the history of this sweet bread, and how we as Texans have enjoyed it for many years; I love Texas for our rich history and blend of culture. This sweet treat goes perfectly dipped into ice cold milk!
•1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (about 1 stick)
•1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
•2 large eggs
•3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
•1/4 cup milk
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•5 cups all-purpose flour
•2 tsp ground ginger
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
•1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add the dark brown sugar and mix until well combined. Add in one egg, molasses, milk and vanilla extract. Mix together until smooth.
- In a separate large bowl, add the flour, ground ginger, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix together to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients 1 cup at a time and mix until well combined. The dough should cleanly pull away from the mixing bowl.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 3/8 inch thickness (or a little less than 1/2 inch). Use a pig shaped cooked cutter (my friend Chelsea bought it on Amazon) to cut into pigs. Place pigs 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the remaining beaten egg over the tops of the cookies.
- In a small bowl, crack open the remaining egg and whisk. Brush the beaten egg over the tops of the pigs using a pastry brush.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.