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30 June, 2010

Basel Honey-spice Cookies (basel Leckerli)

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Ingrients & Directions

2/3 c Clover honey -peel
2/3 c Granulated sugar 1/4 c Finely chopped candied
1 tb Kirsch (cherry brandy) or -orange peel
-orange juice 2/3 c Finely chopped blanched
2 1/2 ts Ground cinnamon -slivered almonds
1/4 ts Ground cloves 2 1/4 c All-purpose or unbleached
Finely grated peel (yellow -white flour (or more)
-part only) of one 1 1/2 c Powdered sugar
Large lemon 1/8 ts Vanilla extract
1/4 c Finely chopped candied lemon

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

Makes 50 to 60 1-by-2 1/2-inch bars.

[THE BALTIMORE SUN; November 25, 1990]

50 servings

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