Basler Läckerli

Discover more regional specialties on my small group food & wine tour of Switzerland!

Basler Läckerli

Basler läckerli is a delicious sweet treat that’s a specialty of the Swiss canton of Basel. It’s sometimes made with hazelnuts instead of almonds and some recipes use either just orange peel or just lemon peel, so feel free to substitute if you don’t have everything on hand. My recipe is inspired by one in the Basel Country Women’s Cookbook and although it’s cross-cultural, I love it with a glass of Oloroso Sherry like the 15 year old from El Maestro Sierra. Läckerli is very easy to assemble, I find the trickiest part is rolling it into a more or less even rectangle; if it ends up a bit of an odd shape, I trim it and roll the off cuts back into place. Once it’s cooked, you can cut off any irregular edges and save those for chef’s snacks. See video below for another nutty Swiss treat. Äguete!

Makes about 48 pieces

Ingredients
  • 225g honey
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 40g candied orange peel, finely chopped
  • 40g candied lemon peel, finely chopped
  • 120g almond meal
  • ½ lemon
  • 30ml kirsch
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon strained lemon juice
Method
  1. Place honey, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a saucepan over a low heat and warm for a few minutes, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and it’s all well combined.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in orange and lemon peel and almond meal and grate in the lemon zest.
  3. Stir in kirsch, then combined flour and baking powder.
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead to form a soft dough.
  5. Place dough between 2 large sheets of baking paper and press and roll into a rectangle about 5mm thick.
  6. Transfer to a large baking tray and remove the top sheet of baking paper. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes, until well coloured.
  9. Meanwhile, combine icing sugar and lemon juice to form a glaze.
  10. Remove läckerli from the oven, immediately pour the glaze over it and brush it out to the edges.
  11. Lift it (on the sheet of baking paper) onto a wire rack to cool.
  12. Once cool, trim crisp edges (reserving these for snacks!) and cut into pieces about 5 x 3cm.
  13. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, with baking paper between the layers.

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