For this second recipe of the Swiss Food Discovery Project, I'm making little cookies. Läckerlis from Basel to be precise. Despite its modest appearance, it's a rather chic little cake. And even feminist, you'll find out why. But above all, it's good to lick your fingers. (yes I know, it's not done).
The Làckerli has its legend
This little cookie, which dates back to the 15th century, does not look like much. But it is made with very exclusive ingredients for the time: honey and spices. It is said that it was the members of the Council of Basel who, having judged the gingerbread too ordinary, demanded a cookie more adapted to their fine palates. I can't say whether the legend is due to their desire to fart higher than their behinds or some other reason, but in any case, history has retained this version for a long time. Somebody took revenge on his friends... In fact, since the spices used in the composition of Läckerli had not yet appeared in Switzerland in the 15th century, it is unfortunately not possible to retain this version of the story. Too bad, too bad...
A cookie offered by widows
In fact, the Läckerli made a stir especially from the 18th century. The confectioners of Basel demanded that the widows, who made Läckerlis at home to improve their income, stop their production. The population was outraged by this and it had the opposite effect. At the same time as St. Gallen and Nuremberg, the making of Läckerlis was officially declared a "free trade", to the detriment of the bakers. For once it is the women who have won... So, by eating läckerlis, you become a feminist. Nice, isn't it?
- 500 g of dark honey - of fir ideally, or of forest
- 250 g brown sugar
- 500 g flour - I used whole grain spelt
- 3 tsp of four-spice - I finally found some in the Globus Deli, otherwise a mixture of cinnamon and clove powder
- 1 tsp of bicarbonate
- 150 g whole ground almonds
- 150 g orangeat - I couldn't find any and I thought the dough was sweet enough, so I replaced it with organic orange zest
- 2 tbsp of kirsch
- Melt honey and brown sugar over low heat until liquid. Then combine with all other ingredients in a bowl. Mix until the dough becomes homogeneous and soft.
- Spread on a floured work surface (be careful, it sticks, a big handful of flour is not too much) on 4mm thickness (not too thin, I didn't measure, I admit). Cut out rectangles, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 8 min at 180 degrees.
- Läckerlis have an annoying tendency to break your teeth. To soften them, simply slip an apple wedge or a piece of carrot into the box.
- What's next? Taste!