As soon as Thanksgiving is over we start decorating for Christmas and baking cookies. For us Black Friday is more about decorating and baking than shopping as we’ve often finished our Christmas shopping by then. This year we had family visiting so the decorating and baking was put off, but we are catching up.
Two years ago a few baking bloggers got together to celebrate Christmas cookies by baking our way through a selection of Gourmet magazine’s favorite cookies from the last 40 years, and we repeated the event last year though my schedule didn’t permit me to participate. We’re back again and this time baking some of Saveur’s favorite international cookies. We have each chosen four cookies to bake, one for each week between now and Christmas and we hope you enjoy the cookies along with us.
For my first cookie, I was immediately drawn to the Basler Brunsli, a chocolate and almond cookie from Switzerland. These are made with finely ground almonds rather than wheat flour and are gluten free. I opted to use almond meal from Trader Joe’s rather than grinding the almonds, and it worked very well, I just weighed out 8 ounces of almond meal. The cookies are spiced with cinnamon and cloves, which I ground just before adding to the dough, and the baking aroma is fantastic. The cloves really stand out in the cookies, so if cloves aren’t your thing you may want to reduce the amount slightly. I found that dividing the dough in half and rolling half at a time made it much easier to work with.
The boys helped cut the shapes, and we used practically every cutter in the kitchen. Monkey Boy even grabbed the pumpkin cutter and made a rather large cookie that he kept all to himself, but he had competition for the snowmen.
Make sure you check out the other bakers to see what’s in their ovens for Christmas.
The Rest of the Cookie Baking Clan
- Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen (Thanks for making the logo!)
- Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook
- Judy of No Fear Entertaining
- Kelly of Sass & Veracity
- Michelle of Big Black Dogs
- RJ of Flamingo Musings
- Sandy of At the Baker’s Bench
- Tiffany of The Nesting Project
- Courtney of Coco Cooks
Basler Brunsli Cookies
- food processor with a large bowl, at least 5 cups
- 5 to 6 pieces parchment paper
- 4 baking sheets
- rolling pin
- star shape cutter (and other cutters as desired)
- 8 ounces almond meal (or whole blanched almonds, finely ground)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (finely chopped, or dairy-free chocolate)
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 egg whites (lightly beaten)
- In the bowl of the food processor, mix together the almond meal and sugar. Add the chopped chocolate and process until finely ground. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and egg whites, and pulse to make a dough.
- Sprinkle the extra sugar over a sheet of parchment. Divide the dough in half and lay one half on top of the parchment. Lay another piece of parchment over the dough and roll it out to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut the cookies with the cutter and lay on parchment-lined baking sheets, arranging them 1 inch apart. Reroll the remaining dough and continue it’s all used. Allow the cookies to stand and dry for about 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 300° F/150° C.
- Bake the cookies until they are slightly puffed, about 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely and store in a tin.