These delightful bars are from Switzerland. And by delightful, I mean they smell marvelous. I have not actually tasted one yet. Once baked they must “mellow” in an air-tight container at room temperature for about a week. Or so says Sharon Tyler Herbst. And they will, I am told, be hard, as they are meant to be, unless I add a couple of apple slices to the container. If we are going to eat them, that is probably what I will do. Someone here is still wearing braces.
I say “if” because none of us are big fans of candied citrus peel, finely chopped or not. And these bars use a not unnoticeable amount of candied citrus peel. But, as my mother said more than once, you can’t know you don’t like a food if you’ve never tried it. Which is how I know brussel sprouts are virtually inedible and that rosewater tastes like soap. So I will give these a try.
These bars are made with flour, ground almonds, chopped hazelnuts, the aforementioned candied citrus peel, lemon zest, honey (obviously) and lots and lots of kirsch. Heady stuff. The house smells good though. We shall see in a week whether they are as good as they smell.
The recipe as written in The Joy of Cookies suggests using a Leckerli or Springerle mold, cookie cutters, or to just cut them into bars. I don’t have a Leckerli mold, but I have a Springerle roller, and that is what I used to make the decorative patterns on the tops of these before cutting them into bars. The cookies are to stand overnight covered with wax paper on baking sheets in a cool, dry place before they go in the oven the next day. Here that meant the basement on top of the dryer. After baking they are glazed with a cooked mixture of kirsch, powdered sugar (I used leftover vanilla sugar), and honey. Mmmm. Nothing quite like the smell of 90 proof kirsch boiled with vanilla sugar and honey. Talk about awesome-sauce!