All posts filed under: biscuits

Tips for baking biscuits (cookies)

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baking / biscuits / cookies / Swiss food

Here are some tips for baking biscuits (the British vernacular for cookies, because when I think cookies I think choc-chip type drop cookies). ♦  Use fresh ingredients – Good butter, and nice fresh free-run eggs. ♦  With fine dough, or dough rolled out thin, use caster (superfine, fruit, instant dissolving) sugar, not to be mistaken with powered sugar. It melts faster and incorporates more smoothly than regular sugar. Normal sugar can result in a grainy texture. ♦  Always […]

Clementine biscuits

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baking / biscuits / Nordic / recipe

These are shortbread like biscuits made with clementines, and patterned using a wooden roller. INGREDIENTS 350g all purpose flour ¾ tsp salt 250g cold unsalted butter 125g icing sugar zest 2 clementines 1 egg yolk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp milk 1. Mix the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and combine with the flour by hand until the mixture has the consistency of crumbs. Alternatively, […]

Baking Christmas cookies

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baking / biscuits / cookies

I began helping to bake Christmas cookies when I was probably three or so years old. It was a tradition, that in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the cookies were baked, and then stored in vast containers in preparation for Christmas to begin. Of course, the containers were so vast, and stored in the hallway closet, that it was always easy to pilfer one or two without anyone being the wiser. Christmas was the […]

A patterned roller for biscuits

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baking / biscuits / kitchen tool

Sometimes its time to try something new with baking. I have a whole bunch of shape cutters, but how to make biscuits more interesting. The answer is a patterned wooden (beech) roller like this one (made in Russia). I bought this roller from Etsy. Simply roll out the dough, then run the roller over the surface, imprinting the pattern. It works best with doughs that don’t rise substantially, as otherwise the pattern tends to disappear.

Nordic gingerbread with orange zest

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baking / biscuits / cooking / Nordic / recipe

Gingerbread biscuits seem to be a staple in Nordic countries, especially around Christmas time. They differ from Germanic gingerbreads in that they are much thinner, and often quite crisp. These biscuits are gingerbread with a hint of orange zest. It produces anywhere from 60-100 biscuits depending on the size of the cutters used. This is a super easy biscuit to make, and I have added it to the collection of Christmas biscuits that I bake. […]

Swiss biscuits – Berner Honiglebkuchen

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biscuits / cookies / Swiss food / 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 / Swiss food

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 / Swiss food / 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 – the Palmier

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biscuits / cookies / Swiss food / 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 / Swiss food / 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 […]