Swiss Mailänderli Cookies (Mailaenderli)

These cookies (pronounced ” ‘my-land-er-lee”) are one of the traditional Swiss Christmas cookies (along with Spitzbuben and Zitronmöndli), and are very similar to English and American sugar cookies, though they are less crumbly than the latter’s.

Mailänderli - Credit, Tagesanzeiger Newspaper

Mailänderli.  Image Credit: Tagesanzeiger, Swiss Newspaper

Swiss Mailaenderli

250 gr. whipped butter (9 oz.)
250 gr. Sugar (9 oz.)
3 eggs
3–4 Tbs. milk
1 pinch of salt
1 grated lemon peel
500 gr. Flour (18 oz.)

Mix together until smooth.
Roll dough to 3–4 mm thickness, cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.
Paint with the egg yolk. *
Before baking, place in a cool place for ~ 30 minutes–1 hour.**
Bake @ 200 °C for 10 minutes, bottom rack.

*They are brushed with egg yolk before baking to give them the typical golden top, and are usually served plain, without icing, though if you want to top them with icing, add a drop or two of milk or water to powdered sugar to make a fairly stiff icing, and spread a dab on the top of each with a spoon.

**This is traditionally recommended, to help them keep their shapes better. If you don’t have the time, you can chill them ~10 minutes, or just bake straight away, though they tend to spread more if they go in the oven warm.

En Guete!

Swiss Zitronenmöndli (Little Lemon Moon) Cookies

Merry Christmas, everyone!

The Swiss Zitronenmöndli is one of the traditional Christmas cookies here (along with Spitzbuben and Mailänderli).  In High German they are called “Zitronenmöndchen” ; both the -li and -chen are diminutive forms for nouns in the two different dialects (at least in the dialect used around here, in the Zürich area).  These cookies, as their name suggests, are usually cut into the shapes of moons, and glazed with a simple lemon glaze; the finely-ground almonds replace the need for flour.  Sometimes you’ll see them decorated with chopped pistachio nuts, though that is a more modern addition to the traditional recipe; you could also sprinkle lightly-roasted almond slivers over the glaze.

Left to right: Mailänderli; Zitronenmöndli; Spitzbuben

Left to right: Mailänderli; Zitronenmöndli; Spitzbuben

Swiss Zitronenmöndli

350 gr. ground almonds (12 oz.)
200 gr. Sugar (7 oz.)
1 pinch salt
2–3 lemons, peeling grated
1½ fresh egg whites, lightly beaten

Stir all together gradually & thoroughly. On a bit of powdered sugar, roll the dough out to 7 mm thick (¼”). Cut out various sized moons, spread out onto a baking papered tray. Let sit 5–6 hours or overnight at room temperature, to dry out [This step is traditional, but unnecessary in my experience; if the dough is stiff enough to cut neatly, it should hold its shape in the oven fairly well].

Bake in the middle of a 325°F preheated oven, 8–10 minutes. To decorate, brush still–warm cookies with the lemon glaze, then sprinkle a bit of the grated lemon peeling over the top of the glaze while still moist.

Lemon Glaze:

~2 tsp. Lemon juice
150 gr. Powdered sugar (5 oz.)

Stir together until the glaze reaches a thick consistency. Go easy on the liquid, or you’ll need a ton of sugar to get the right consistency!