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Christmas Cookies

2022-08-252 minute read

Unlike other countries, Switzerland does not have a single traditional Christmas dish as the specialties vary according to the regions. However, there is one culinary tradition that unites Switzerland: delicious home-made cookies.

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)
The Components of Zimtsterne like cinnamon and almonds give a great sensation when they’re in your mouth. Originally, cinnamon and almonds were very expensive and not widely distributed ingredients in Europe but had to be brought in from abroad. This explains why almonds and cinnamon are traditionally associated with holidays such as Christmas and Easter.
Except the cinnamon and almonds, they include hazelnuts, sugar and sometimes you may try them with lemon zest. The cookies usually have white icing on top or are dusted with white or brown sugar.

Chräbeli
Chräberli are perfect for those of you not so much into nuts, but who love Absinthe, Sambuca and Ouzo. These are special cookies in terms of their shape, but they go especially well with coffee!

Brunsli
The cookie is originally from Basel, Switzerland. Interestingly, Basler Brunsli does not use any flour but sugar, chocolate and almond. The ingredients make it tastes extremely soft and you can adjust the sweetness when you bake at home. A recipe is included for your reference.

Instructions
1. Put almond meal, sugar and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl , stir it well to mix.
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and fold into dry ingredients. Don’t worry about preserving the airiness; just make sure everything is all wet.
3. Fold the melted dark chocolate into the dough – when well enough mixed it should actually resemble a dough, though it may look a little crumbly – just work it with your hands a couple minutes and it will eventually start looking and feeling more like a dough.
4. Working in batches, roll out the dough onto a sugared surface until about 5mm thick. If it breaks can just press it back together.
5. Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter, recombining and re-rolling the dough as necessary. Set out to dry for about 8 hours, or overnight.
6. Preheat an oven to 250C. Bake 5 min. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
7. Put some nice Christmas music, sit down and enjoy a Brunsli.

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