If you are only baking one ind of cookie this year – try the Swiss all time favorite Mailänderli – milanais in French or, literally, “little milano” in English – is the most popular Swiss Christmas cookie. It’s an egg-enriched shortbread with a hint of lemon. Get out the cookie cutters! This cookie is easy to make, for small and big hand, for seasoned and novice bakers.
Roll out cookie dough about 1/2 inch thick on a flour dusted clean surface. The thicker the dough the more buttery the taste. Remaining dough just gets rolled up into a ball and rolled out again!
Cookies ready to bake! Either coat them in a thin egg wash (see recipe), or bake as is and cover with a think sugar coating when still warm.
Recipe: Mailänderli (Swiss Shortbread)
Quantities in weight – scale required!
250 g butter
250 g sugar
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk (for egg wash, keep separate!)
1 lemon, zest only
500 g flour
egg wash: beat 1 egg yolk with a bit a water, brush on cookies before baking
sugar icing: mix confectioners sugar with fresh squeezed lemon juice and food color
Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare baking sheets (line with parchment paper).
Using a standing or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is well combined. Add the 3 eggs, incorporate on low speed, then beat on higher speed until mixture is light and homogeneous. Mix in lemon zest, and finally the flour.
Gather the dough together. Flatten into a disk and place in fridge for two hours.
Dust counter with flour. Roll out dough to 8 mm thickness. (Yes, the Swiss are very exact! I think the main thing is not to make them too thin.) Cut out cookies using cookie cutters. Place on baking sheet.
In a bowl, prepare the egg wash by lightly beating the egg yolk and diluting with a bit of water or milk. Brush cookies with egg wash.
Alternatively, bake cookies as is and coat them with a sugar icing after baking. Sugar icing can be colored with food color and enriched with sprinkles. Bake approx 10 minutes or until golden.
Cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes 50-80 cookies!
Enjoy the Season