12 December 2009

basler brunsli (traditional swiss cookies, revised)

This is supposedly a traditional Swiss Christmas cookie--I fiddled with the recipe until it turned out the way I wanted.

8 oz Trader Joe’s almond meal
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
250g Trader Joe’s bittersweet chocolate with almonds, roughly chopped (I buy the half kilo bars in the baking chocolates section).
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large egg whites

In a food processor combine almond meal and chocolate and pulse until chocolate is well ground. Add sugars and spices and mix until fine. (Do not overmix or chocolate will melt.) Add spices and egg whites and mix until dough comes together. I usually turn the dough out into a metal bowl and finish mixing with my hands, just to make sure the dry stuff in the corners gets well incorporated. Chill dough for about 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350º F. On a surface covered with sugar, roll dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a small cookie cutter (heart or star shaped is traditional) and transfer onto baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Put cookies into the oven and reduce the temperature to 325º F. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm. Be careful not to overbake or the cookies will be too hard.