Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mailänderli (Swiss Lemon Butter Cookie)

Mailänderli are typically a Christmas cookie in Switzerland, but that has never made much sense to me. They're buttery, lemony, and don't have any "Christmas" flavors in them (no cinnamon, allspice, ginger, etc...). My mom has always made them year round and I've come to consider them more of a shortbread alternative. I actually forgot they were meant to be a Christmas cookie until I found the original recipe link and read the description there.

These are the perfect cookie to have with tea or coffee. They're crispy and make a great dunking device. What I love about these is the lemon flavor. I find most traditional shortbread cookies kind of boring, but the lemon zest and heavy dose of butter in these makes for a great flavor combination.

This dough makes LOTS of cookies. I ended up with over 5 dozen, but it's really hard to gauge how many average sized cookie this dough would make since mine were all bizarre shapes and sizes. I especially loved the bite sized mini cookies I baked. They vanished within they first day since they were so easy to snack on every time I walked by the kitchen. If you don't want tons of cookies, feel free to cut this recipe in half. Otherwise you can roll out your cookies and freeze the ones you don't want to bake right away. Just make sure to add a little more baking time if you take the cookies out of the freezer.

Recipe from Chefkoch.de
Makes tons of cookies

2 sticks/250 grams of butter, at room temperature*
250 grams of sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1 lemon, zested
500 grams flour

Beat the butter in a bowl until fluffy and it forms peaks. Add the sugar and salt and beat until well incorporated. Alternated adding the whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, mixing after each addition (add one egg, mix, add one yolk, mix, etc...). Beat until fluffy. Next, add the lemon zest and flour to the dough mixture. Mix in until an even, smooth dough forms. Remove dough from bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for at least one hour (longer or overnight if possible).

Once dough has chilled preheat your oven to 350ºF/180ºC and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll the first piece out to slightly thinner than 1/4 inch. Begin cutting out cookie shapes of your choice. They do not expand much in the oven, so they can be fairly close together. Continue with the remaining pieces of dough. Before baking, whisk the last egg yolk. Apply a light layer of egg yolk over each cookie (this give the cookie it's color, but if you don't care about having a shiny, colored cookie, you could skip this step). Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden on the edged.

*This weight conversion is not exact, but 2 stick of butter (at about 113 grams each) is enough. Pin It Now!

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