Welcome to the second annual International Cookie Exchange hosted by Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere! Today a group of cookie-loving food bloggers is sharing recipes for cookies from around the globe. Get ready to break out your mixing bowl, because these recipes are sure to inspire you to fill your cookie jar with cultural treats! I am joining with a recipe for Basler Brunsli, Swiss Chocolate Almond Cookies. Missed the event last year? Check out my Kourambiethes (Greek Shortbread Cookies) along with a variety of other International holiday favorites.
- From France: Palatable Pastime – Sablés
- From Germany: Cindy’s Recipes and Writing – Lebkuchen (Spiced Molasses Cookies)
- From Greece: Cooking the Globe – Kourabiedes
- From India: Love Is In My Tummy – Kal Kal
- From Iraq: Caroline’s Cooking – Kleicha (Iraqi Date Cookies)
- From Italy: An Italian In My Kitchen – Cranberry Almond Biscotti
- From Italy: Culinary Adventures with Camilla – Ricciarelli
- From Poland: A Day in the Life on the Farm – Rogaliki
- From Scotland: The Redhead Baker – Cranberry Orange Shortbread
- From Serbia: Curious Cuisiniere – Vanilice (Little Filled Vanilla Cookies)
- From Switzerland: Tara’s Multicultural Table – Basler Brunsli (Swiss Chocolate Almond Cookies)
- From Venezuela: Five Senses Palate – Coquitos
This year I made Basler Brunsli, a chocolate almond cookie from Basel, Switzerland. These naturally gluten-free cookies are formed with a combination of ground almonds, sugar, chocolate, and egg whites. Cinnamon and cloves are added for a warming winter flavor. It seems like I have been going through a massive supply of butter lately, so it was nice to come across a cookie that is free of that too. Overall, the flavor reminds me of a chocolate gingerbread.
The dough will be on the sticky side. Rolling it between two sheets of sugar-dusted parchment will help with handling. I used smaller cookie cutters (about 2 inches across) in the shape of crinkled circles and hearts. Stars and flowers are also popular.
Before baking, the cut-out cookies are dried on the baking sheets until the surfaces are no longer shiny. This creates an almost macaron-like texture. The outside is crisp with a brownie-like chewiness in the center.
If you don’t have almond meal available, you can also use about 8 ounces of blanched almonds. Pulse them with the sugar until ground before adding and pulsing the chocolate.
I have also come across recipes that add a splash (about 1 tablespoon) of Kirsch to the dough. Kirsch, or Kirschwasser, is a clear brandy traditionally made with morello cherries. It can be found in some stores selling liquor. If added to the dough, a little more almond meal may need to be incorporated to make up for the extra moisture.
I sprinkled the tops with a little powdered sugar after baking for decoration.
Basler Brunsli (Swiss Chocolate Almond Cookies)
Adapted from Saveur
3-4 dozen cookies
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 ounces dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 egg whites
Granulated sugar for dusting
In a food processor, combine the almond meal, sugar, and chocolate. Pulse the mixture until finely ground. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and egg whites. Continue to pulse until dough comes together. If the mixture is still too wet, add a little more almond meal.
Line baking sheets with parchment. On a large work surface, spread out a piece of parchment. Dust with granulated sugar. Add the dough, form into a disc, and sprinkle the top with more sugar. Top with another sheet of parchment.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough 1/8 inch thick. Use small cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Transfer to prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining scraps of dough.
Allow the cookies to dry on baking sheets at room temperature for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Once heated, add the dried cookies and bake until cooked through and slightly puffed, 12-15 minutes. If cooking more than one baking sheet at once, rotate the sheets halfway through. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.