Sweet. Fruity. Spicy. Yes, that whole combination exists. With one small bite of these Basler Leckerli, fall and winter explode in your mouth, even more so than if you decided to order a venti Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.
This dessert is originally from Basel, Switzerland, and is super common in bakeries and even grocery stores. They are arguably the Swiss version of gingerbread, and they have fruit in it so they are definitely healthier for you. At least we'll pretend they are.
So get your baking tools ready (or your Swiss Army knife may work as well), whip out some Lindt chocolate truffles on the side for snacking, and prepare to make small squares of Swiss heaven.
- Prep Time:40 mins
- Cook Time:20 mins
- Total Time:1 hr
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chopped dried or candied cherries
- 1/4 cup chopped dried or candied blueberries
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a small saucepan, combine the honey with the granulated sugar and salt. Be sure to stir occasionally. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl once it begins simmering after 3 minutes or so.
While the honey mixture is cooling, prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. This is crucial because the Leckerli will stick to the pan if you do not use the parchment paper!
Mix in the eggs with the honey mixture that has now cooled.
Cut up and prepare the dried cherries and blueberries. Grate the lemon and orange zest.
#SpoonTip: Remember, if available you can add candied lemon or orange peels instead, as this is the more authentic way to make Leckerli.
Prepare the cinnamon and cloves/nutmeg mixture. If grating the spices by hand, make sure you have a fine powder and no chunks!
Sift the flower and baking powder, then combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Stir the mixture thoroughly to form a sticky dough, then scrape the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
#SpoonTip: This dough is VERY sticky! Coat your hands in flour so you don't end up with what feels like glue on your fingers. It is totally worth it though.
Flatten the dough out into a rectangle on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave a border around the edge of the pan because the cookie will spread. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan around after 10 minutes.
While the Leckerli are baking, combine the confectioners sugar with 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a boil and wait for the syrup to thicken (5-7 minutes). This will be the glaze for the Leckerli once they are out of the oven.
As soon as the Leckerli are done baking, take them out of the oven and immediately brush the sugar syrup on the cookies with (preferably) a silicone pastry brush.
Once the glaze has been brushed on and while the Leckerli are still pretty hot, cut the pastry into bars with a sharp knife, then let cool on cooking rack and enjoy!
Recipe inspired by Food & Wine as well as from my family's recipe book.