Basler Brunsli, or Chocolate Almond Cookies

These Christmas cookies originate from the Basel area but are a delight for families throughout northern Switzerland. Traditionally containing the much-loved cherry brandy, kirsch, these cookies are easy to make and keep for two to three weeks in a cookie tin. They are dairy- and gluten-free.


150 g sugar

225 g ground almonds

2 Tbs cocoa

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

2 egg whites at room temperature, lightly beaten

125 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces 

1-2 tsp kirsch (you may omit the kirsch)


Place the first 5 ingredients into a large bowl and stir until well mixed. Add the egg white, mixing well.

Melt the chocolate over a water bath and add the kirsch, combining until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture to the other ingredients, combining well until it forms good dough. Roll the dough to a thickness of 1 cm onto a sugar-coated surface. Use a cookie cutter to cut out forms, and place onto baking parchment on a cookie pan. Allow the cookies to dry out at room temperature for at least 6 hours (or even overnight). Set the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Bake the cookies for 3-5 minutes in the preheated oven. DO check the cookies to make sure they are not over-baked. They are done when they puff out a little. Allow to cool before removing from pan. Enjoy!

Text by Nadine Deutscher

Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

Nadine currently has a practicum as a chef in Aadorf, Switzerland, while she is continuing her education at SHL College of Catering and Hotel Management “Hotelfachschule” in Lucerne.

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