Lets Make Christmas – Basler Läckerli

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In the summer of 2003 I was sent to Basel in Switzerland to do some work for a customer, and came across these beauties in a store which is somewhat of a local, if not national landmark, Läckerli Huus.

On my return back to England, I knew I had to find a recipe for them, so that I could enjoy them at home.  This recipe does not contain the hazelnuts in the receipe from Läckerli Huus, but it is almost as delicious, and a wonderful spiced honey cookie, perfect for serving to friends and family during Christmas.

I will also be entering a festive version of these as a “Baked Goods” gift at the Let’s make Christmas – The Food Blogger Gift Swap Event at Fortnum & Mason

The recipe comes from a website providing information about Switzerland.  I baked half the quantity given below and made 35 cookies.  I also substituted the Kirsch with Cherry Brandy, as it seems that Kirsch is not readily stocked in my local supermarkets – however I have to say that I believe that they taste just as nice as when I baked them with the Kirsch I brought back from my original visit to Basel.

Ingredients for two baking sheets:

  • 450g Honey
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 1½ tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of Ground Cloves
  • ½ tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 200g Mixed Peel (Lemon and Orange), finely chopped (you don’t want big lumps in your cookies)
  • 200g Ground Almonds
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 100ml Kirsch (or Cherry Brandy)
  • 600g Plain flour
  • 1 1/2tsp Baking Powder

Glaze

  • 150g Icing Sugar
  • 3-5 tbsp of kirsch or water (I used water – quantity would have been 3tbsp for a full batch for the right consistency for me)

Put honey, sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg in a pan.

Heat up slowly, then remove from stove.

Add mixed peel, almonds and lemon zest, and stir until mixed evenly.

Add to kirsch, flour and baking powder in a large bowl, mixing to combine.

Knead on a table to form a soft dough, but beware, the dough will still be very warm and quite sticky.

While the dough is still warm, roll it out on the back of two greased baking sheets approximately 5mm thick. (I used Baking Parchment)

Let it rest for about 5 to 6 hours or over night in a dry place.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes in the center of the pre-heated oven at 210 °C (430 °F).

Mix the icing sugar and kirsch or water just before the dough comes out of the oven.

Glaze the baked dough immediately.

Trim the edges, and cut dough in small pieces (5 x 3 cm, 2 x 1.5 inches), take them off the baking sheets and let them cool.

Ideally served with Gluhwein, these are also delicious on their own or with a hot drink!

This entry was posted in Cookies and Biscuits, Egg Free and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lets Make Christmas – Basler Läckerli

  1. Choclette says:

    These sound fabulous – very Germanic. I lived in Switzerland for a while, but on the French side, so there were lots of pastries and tarts, but I don’t remember anything like this. Spiced biscuits are good any time of the year, but they are just perfect for Christmas.

  2. Gail says:

    Shiny slabs of goodness – yum! Looking forward to meeting you on Friday :-)

  3. Pingback: Let's Make Christmas Edible Christmas Gifts Fortnum and Masons | Fabulicious Food

  4. tina says:

    sarah, thanks soo much, once again, for an amazing recipe. as a swiss, grown on this stuff, i have to give you kudos – they taste wonderful

    miss you – and i keep an eye on you, even if i can not reply much… xxxx

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