The Basler Läckerli is a small, rectangular gingerbread biscuit (without the ginger), thin glazed and dusted with icing, a much harder bite than the Belgian and Dutch variety. It is one of several Swiss variations of gingerbread that began when oriental spices arrived in 11th century monasteries.
700 g flour 20 g baking powder or 10 g potash 500 g liquid honey 300 g sugar 30 g cinnamon, ground 15 g clove, ground 15 g nutmeg, grated Cardamom, pinch 100 g almonds and hazelnuts, chopped 100 g lemon and orange candied peel, chopped 1 lemon, zest 150 ml kirsch Glaze (100 ml water to 150 g sugar); icing sugar
Bring honey and sugar slowly to a boil, simmer until sugar dissolves, cool. Mix nuts, peel and spices with the zest and kirsch. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, gradually adding the honey syrup and the nut paste. Knead into a pliable dough.
If using potash, mix with cherry brandy.
Roll the dough out to a depth of roughly 6mm onto two greased parchment sheets, place on baking trays making sure the dough is evenly distributed all around.
Rest for an hour.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Make the glaze and apply evenly, dust with icing sugar.
Cut into 5x5cm rectangles.
Making a large batch is worth the effort. Kept in air-tight containers they will stay fresh for several months, slices of apple will soften them.
Läckerli are broken into pieces and dissolved slowly in the mouth.
Replace wheat flour with rye flour to get the authentic 17th century version.
Older recipes use more almonds, usually the same amount as the sugar.
Many homes added milk to the mixture, at a ratio equal to the honey and flour, the milk mixed with the honey. Some homes added eggs, mixing them with the sugar.
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