Basel Leckerli (Basel Honeyspice Cookies)
Kirsch (cherry brandy) or
Finely grated peel (yellow
-part only) of one
Finely chopped candied lemon
Finely chopped candied
Finely chopped blanched
All-purpose or unbleached
-white flour (or more)
Heat the oven to 350F. Generously grease two 10-by-14-inch or larger
baking shets. Stir together the honey, sugar, and kirsch in a
medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture, stirring,
until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture is hot but not
boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices, lemon peel,
candied peels, and almonds until completely incorporated. Stirring
vigorously, gradually ad 2 1/4 cups of flour to the pan; the mixture
will become very stiff. If the mixture feels sticky and too soft to
roll out, stir or knead in a bit more flour, but be careful not to
overflour. Set the mixture aside until cooled to barely warm.
Sprinkle a work surface generously with flour. Divide the dough in
half. Roll out half of dough into an 8 1/2-by-13-inch rectangle,
frequently running a spatula under the dough and dusting the work
surface. As needed, also dust the top of the dough and the rolling
pin with flour. Transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet. Repeat
with the second half of the dough. Prick the dough lightly all over
with the tines of a fork.
Stagger the baking sheets on racks in the center third of the oven;
switch positions halfway through the baking to ensure even browning.
Bake for 13 to 16 minutes or until the dough top is just tinged with
brown and slightly darker on the edges; avoid overbaking, as cookies
will become crunchy and hard. Carefully run a spatula under the dough
rectangles to loosen them from the pans.
When just cool enough to handle, transfer the rectangles to a cutting
board and cut away any uneven, dry edges using a large serrated
knife. Deeply score the rectangles, but do not cut completely through
the surface, lengthwise and crosswise, to yield 1-by-2 1/2-inch bars.
Return the scored rectangles to the baking sheets. In a small
saucepan stir together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons
of water until thoroughly blended. Bring the mixture to a boil,
stirring. Boil, stirring, for 20 to 30 seconds, until smooth, very
fluid, and translucent. Divide the mixture between the rectangles,
pour over the top and quickly spread the glaze over the entire
surface. Let stand until the glaze sets and turns white again, about
1 hour. Bend the rectangles to break apart or cut through the score
marks to separate into bars. Let stand until the glaze is dry and
hard. Pack airtight. Store for up to 3 weeks or more.
Makes 50 to 60 1-by-2 1/2-inch bars.
[THE BALTIMORE SUN; November 25, 1990]
Posted by Fred Peters.