Basler Leckerli

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!

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About pattiblaine

Raised under the name of Snyder in the upstate NY town of Vestal, I've worked as a typesetter, a fast food salad bar tender, an art reviewer, a waitress, a part-time nanny, and a very-bad-with-phones temp. Once upon a time I was all-but-thesis toward a Masters in Art History. Now I'm just a mom with a lot of fiber squirreled away throughout the house. We call it insulation. In 2013 I completed a life-long learning program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and am a postulant toward the diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, NY. In addition to coordinating volunteers for the soup kitchen, I volunteer as a tutor at a deeply impoverished city elementary school, and am a docent at the Memorial Art Gallery.
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6 Responses to Basler Leckerli

  1. Fiona says:

    Ooooh yummmmm! This is my sort of bar – I adore citrus peel and eat it from the jar in large spoonfuls (sorry if that sounds revolting to you LOL). I have some kirsch in the cupboard ready for our traditional NYE cheese fondue – left over from last NYE because it’s the only time I use it) so I should be all set…… It will be apple slices for us too – my teeth are so fragile they could do with a metal brace for support 😦

  2. Bobbie says:

    I wondered how your Basler Leckerli turned out in November 2011. I have eaten the original many times while living or visiting Basel (they are sold at Leckerli Huus), and I will make them with a recipe I have found (without hazelnuts…allergy!) I hope that you found them tasty!

    • pattiblaine says:

      They were ok. Definitely not a favorite, but they did eventually disappear. Flavorful though! I hope your recipe turns out great.

      • Bobbie says:

        They are something to me because they are a Basel specialty so I can see that you might say thst they are just ok. Thank you for answering.

  3. pattiblaine says:

    If I had the connection you have, I’d probably have loved this recipe. And you’re welcome. I love that different fragrances and flavors trigger fond associations, and that those triggers are as varied as human beings are. And yet we’re all connected!

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