Sunday, 2 January 2011

Basler Brunsli (with thanks to Fleur)

No, not that one!

That's better. Yes, Basler Brunsli, the Swiss Christmas biscuit which I finally got round to making in the New Year, after the kitchen had been done up enough to warrant unpacking all the boxes and therefore finding the whisk.  I'm much obliged to Fleur for this recipe, which is her family's version.  There are as many different ways of making these biscuits it seems as there are people who are aware of them, and I have added a variation this time by using Grand Marnier instead of kirsch, but this - I am assured - is the real deal.

Basler Brunsli
You Will Need:  Large bowl, another largeish bowl, whisk, wooden spoon, cheese grater and patience OR food processor, teaspoon, (mortar and pestle for cloves if whole), greaseproof paper, baking trays, clingfilm, rolling pin.

500g caster sugar
500g ground almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves, approx. 15 whole ones ground
90-100g quality dark chocolate, grated or processed
4 egg whites
1-2 dashes kirsch/other festive spirit

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in the larger bowl.
2.  Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak in the largeish bowl and combine carefully with the dry mixture to form a crumbly dough.
3.  Add enough kirsch/whatever using to bring the dough together into a large ball.
4.  Cover the bowl with clingfilm, flip it over and catch the dough in the clingfilm so that you can wrap it.  Chill a while in the fridge.
5.  Preheat the oven to 110 degrees C.
6.  Line baking trays with greaseproof paper, and sprinkle them with caster sugar to stop the cookies from sticking.  Using caster sugar instead of flour on your worksurface and rolling pin, roll out the dough as you would pastry to about 3/4cm thickness and cut into shapes.  I only did squares as the happy shapes are still in the boxes.
7.  Bake the cookies until light brown, crisp on the outside with a squidgy centre - about 20-25 minutes.  Cool well before attempting to pick up, or they will break!

Happy New Year everyone!  Boom Boom!

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