Christmas + Chocolate = Basler Brunsli

I'm going to lack originality here, but I'm spending so much time in my kitchen to make christmas cookies at the moment, that it is kind of hard to focus on something else, at least kitchen-wise. Today's recipe completly belongs to the "classics", that have to be on my christmas cookie list, not to mention those are my sister's favorit ones.

There is always some chocolate somewhere in my house, in different forms, otherwise it just wouldn't be right. Now, I can start giving all the positiv aspects of chocolate, or debating about the fact that it is the "beverage of god". But the truth is: I am a chocolate addict, a cocoa-dependant, call it how ever you want, that is me.

I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't even like coffee... But it doesn't feel right when I don't have a bit of chocolate every now and then. I even have my days where I shouldn't be trusted with a pot of Nutella. It is the ultimate confort food to me, it has actually been proved scientifically, but beside all those explanations, it just makes me feel good.

The Basler Brunsli, litteraly Basel's Little Brownies, are a very ancient recipe. Like in many other christmas cookie recipe, it's not so much about "cooking" them, than drying them out, so they preserve better. The chocolate here has to be dark, I normally choose a 70% cocoa for this recipe, but I had some "Meunier Pastisserie" chocolate at hand that I like to use too, it is sweeter, and that is fine by me.

Basler Brunsli (from "Betty Bossi Back Buch")

For about 50 Brunslis

250gr of Sugar
250gr of Ground Almond
1/2 a Teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of Flour
2 Egg Whites
100gr of Dark Chocolate

Mix all the dry ingredients together (sugar, almond, cinnamon and flour) in a bowl.

Beat the 2 egg whites to a soft peak, and using a spatula, combine them with the dry ingredients.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and put them in a bowl with a tablespoon of water, put this in the microwave for 30 seconds, give it a stir and if it's not smooth yet, put it back in the microwave for 20 seconds and stir again, keep repeating until it's well combined and shiny.

Add the chocolate to the dry ingredients and the egg white, combine until it forms an homogenous dough.

Put sugar (instead of flour) on your working surface to roll out the dough, it should be about 5mm thick. Using cookie cutters with different shapes, cut out your cookies and place them on oven trays lined with baking paper.

Let the cookie dry out on the trays for several hours (or even overnight) before putting them in the oven for 5 minutes at 250°C (230° if using a fan oven). Let them cool on a rack and keep them in air tight jars afterwards.

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