Month: December 2016

Swiss Fleischvögel

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cooking / food / Switzerland

Every Germanic country has their own form of rouladen, or rolled meat. The Swiss have fleischvögel, or “meat birds”, an unusual name for a very tasty dish. They can be made from beef, pork, veal, filled with pickles, cheese, red peppers, carrots, or speck, and cooked in a brown sauce, or a tomato based sauce. Truly a versatile dish. The core idea is to take a fillet of beef/pork, pound it out thin, fill it, roll it, […]

Swiss biscuits – Berner Honiglebkuchen

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biscuits / cookies / Switzerland

This is a Bernese honey gingerbread that is unfilled, rectangular, or shaped using cutters. This form of gingerbread is often molded with an image of a bear, and decorated with icing embellishments. Gingerbread, which consists of honey and exotic spices was produced in the medieval monasteries. In Bern the gingerbread dates back to the early 19th century. A recipe appearing in “Neuen Berner Kochbuch”, written by Lina Rytz in 1835 listed a gingerbread recipe very similar […]

Swiss biscuits – Zimtsterne

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biscuits / cookies

The zimsterne is a star-shaped Christmas biscuit made of ground almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and egg white. The surface of the biscuits is smooth, slightly shiny ad white to light beige. The egg white glaze forms a thin crust, the biscuit itself is soft. Zimtsterne can be found in cookbooks from the 18th century, although the concept may have originated from the far east. The recipe is gluten-free. INGREDIENTS 3 egg-whites 300g icing sugar 1½ tbsp cinnamon […]

Swiss biscuits – Basler Brunsli

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biscuits / Switzerland

The Brunsli is a Christmas cookie similar in composition to the zimtsterne. It consists of a coarse dough from egg white, chocolate, sugar and almonds. It likely originates in the 1700’s and has had a varied history. In the early 1900’s either chocolate or cocoa were used, but almonds were likely the most expensive ingredient (which hasn’t changed). During WW1, the almonds may have been replaced with flour. In some recipes the Brunsli are made […]

Swiss biscuits – Spitzbuben

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baking / cookies / Switzerland

The literal translation of these biscuits is “rogues”, or “bratty boys”. These are two simple vanilla biscuits, filled with jam. The top biscuit has a shape cut out in the centre, through which the jam can be seen. The biscuits are very thin, and dusted in icing sugar. INGREDIENTS (makes 50-60) 250g butter 125g powdered sugar (or superfine sugar) 2 tsp vanilla sugar 1 pinch salt 1 egg white (lightly whisked) 350g flour Filling: 200ml raspberry, apricot, or […]

Swiss biscuits – the Palmier

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biscuits / cookies / Switzerland

Though technically a French biscuit, the palmier, (French for “palm tree”) is one of the easiest biscuits to make. It is basically puff pastry rolled out in sugar, and then scrolled in to form palm leaves. The sugar used can be anything you like. I use plain granulated sugar, but it could easily be substituted with demerara, or brown sugar. You can of course also make the puff pastry from scratch, but given that all my other Christmas […]

Swiss biscuits – Mailänderli

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biscuits / Switzerland

Mailänderli (MY-LAND-DER-LI) are the quintessential Swiss christmas biscuit, made of flour sugar and butter. They may have existed since the 18th century, and are simple to make. In many of the recipes to follow, you could also substitute margarine for butter, but I don’t think this is the right thing to do. Classically, this biscuit has an egg-yolk wash applied prior to baking, but provides a nice base for a number of different biscuits. INGREDIENTS (makes […]

Swiss biscuits – Planta-Herzli

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biscuits / cookies

Planta-Herzli, or Orange hearts are a delicate, thin, “shortbread” type biscuits covered in orange glasur. INGREDIENTS (makes 50-60) 125g butter 80g sugar 2 egg yolks a pinch salt 1 tbsp orange juice 1 orange, grated 1 Messerspitze* baking powder 250g flour *Messerspitze = knife point 1. Cream the butter and sugar, until it transforms into a pale colour (3-4 minutes). 2. Add the egg yolks and mix until well integrated (1-2 minutes). Add the salt, orange juice and […]