Swiss Christmas Cookies
One of my favorite things about Christmas is the annual tradition of making Christmas cookies. Ever since I can remember, my mom has made the same type of Swiss Christmas cookies; most of the recipes come from my great, great grandmother. Yes, that is two greats in there. I never really thought about how special and impressive it is that these cookies are still being made EVERY Christmas since my great, great grandmother started making them. It is an unwritten rule that every year, one or two new variations can be added, but for the most part, the same 7-8 types of cookies are made each year.
These cookies can be prepared in a blurry, fast-paced two days where baking is done nonstop, or they can be spread out throughout a week or two in a more calming process. Either way, somehow a few cookies are always made in a hurry when the realization hits that Christmas is almost here. I am starting to think a sense of urgency is necessary to make these cookies. I mean it wouldn't be Christmas without a little stress, right?!
So I was going to share some of my favorite cookies but then realized that there were too many of them. Instead, I will share one of the more classic ones that I remember being one of my favorites since day one. If anyone is curious to know the recipes for any of the others pictured further down (they were too pretty to not share photos of them), then please let me know in the comments below!
Jelly Filled Chocolate Cookies
Yields: about 60 cookies
2 cups sugar
2 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
1/2 cup of chocolate powder or melted baking chocolate ( I suggest Trader Joes Hot Chocolate Mix by Green & Black's Organic)
6 large egg whites
1 tsp of cinnamon
pinch of ground allspice
1 lemon (peel and juice)
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
Whip egg whites until they form peaks.
Add sugar to the egg whites and whip together for about 5 minutes on high speed, until stiff and shiny.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Let the dough sit overnight in the fridge.
Mix sugar and flour together in a small bowl.
Scoop a heaping teaspoon of the chocolate dough into hands that have a little of the sugar/flour mix. Roll into a ball and set aside. Do this until all of the chocolate dough is gone. You may need to wash your hands in between if they are getting too sticky.
Place the chocolate balls on a baking pan with parchment paper. Flatten the balls slightly. Then push a small hole in the center using the end of a wooden spoon. My mom uses a small wine cork, so get creative!
Fill the hole with your favorite jelly, although, I highly recommend using raspberry.
Bake at 400-420F in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. You want them to still be a little soft on the inside.
Pictured below are 3 additional cookies that we made this year. I just couldn't resist sharing the final products!
Chocolate Star Cookies
Chai Cookies (this years newcomer and my current favorite!)
The recipe pictured above was typed up by my grandmother for one of the cookies actually not pictured here. I told you we make a lot! I love having recipes that were not only made by my grandmother but actually typed out. She even has a few adjustments written on them to add an extra personal touch.
This recipe pictured above is hard to read and I couldn't make it any larger without ruining the quality, but believe it or not, this is a recipe that my great great grandmother received from someone she knew. It was written inside of an envelope (for reasons that remain unknown) and we have it to this day!
If you can't tell by now, we take our swiss cookies VERY seriously.
Let me know if you give the recipe a try and/or anyone is interested in the recipes for the other cookies!