Basler Läckerli

Jan Trittenbach, Pack Rat Louie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“My favourite Christmas cookie is a traditional Swiss cookie called Basler Läckerli. Whenever my mom made it, I just loved it. It’s not too sweet and I like the not-too-soft texture.”

Adapted from Desserts by Pierre Hermé.

  • ¾ c honey
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ t finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch freshly ground white pepper
  • scant 2/3 c finely diced candied lemon and orange rind
  • 1¼ c + 2 T sliced almonds (4½ ounces)
  • ¼ c kirsch
  • 2 c + 2 T flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ t baking soda

Glaze

  • 2/3 c icing sugar
  • 3 T kirsch
  • 1½ T water

Combine the honey, sugar, lemon zest, and the spices in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until the honey and sugar are melted, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add candied rind, 1 c almonds and the kirsch. Sift flour and baking soda over the mixture and stir to incorporate.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Scrape the dough onto the plastic and flatten into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Liberally flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to a 12-inch square about 3/8 inches thick. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and slide the dough onto it. Prick all over with a fork. Scatter the remaining ¼ c of almonds on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, mix sugar, water, and kirsch. Bake the cookie square for 14 minutes, or until golden. Immediately brush the glaze on top. Slide the parchment onto a rack and let the cookie cool completely. On a work surface, using a large, sharp knife, trim the edges of the square, then cut it into four strips. Cut each strip into ¾-inch bars. Makes approximately
60 bars.

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