Leckerli are hard spiced cookies that are crunchy outside but softer in the middle. Thanks to spices, orange zest, nuts and a bit of alcohol, leckerli cookies taste (and smell) just like Christmas!
For the dough:
- 200g blanched almonds (1 ⅓ cups)
- 375g all-purpose flour (2 ⅔ cups)
- 70g light brown sugar (½ cup)
- 11g baking powder (1 tbsp)
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
- 215g pure honey (7 ½ oz)
- 45 ml whole milk (3 tbsp)
- 45ml colorless brandy such as German plum schnapps (3 tbsp), or replace with whole milk
For the icing:
- 160g powdered sugar (1 cup)
- 30ml freshly pressed orange juice (2 tbsp, but you might need a bit more), or replace with water
- Make the dough. Roughly chop the almonds and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, spices and mix to combine. Make a well in the center and pour the honey, milk, brandy (or more milk) into the well. With one hand make circular movements to bring all the ingredients together and form a soft dough. If needed, add more milk (1 tbsp at a time) to incorporate all the flour.
- Roll the dough. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly flour it. Tip the dough onto the center of the floured baking sheet and shape it into a rough rectangle using your hands. Dust the top of the dough and your rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough until it’s 1cm (½ in) thick. Sprinkle more flour if the dough sticks to the rolling pin. Trim the edges with a sharp knife to get a rectangle measuring 20*30cm (8*12 in). Cover the rectangle with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the leckerli dough. Let it rest overnight or for up to 24h.
- Bake. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F)*. Once preheated, remove the plastic wrap and bake the leckerli for 18 min. The cookie dough will have risen slightly but it shouldn’t turn golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven but don’t turn it off. Let the baked dough cool down for 15 min. In the meantime, sift the powdered sugar over a wide bowl. Whisk the sugar and orange juice (or water) together to form a smooth icing without any lumps. Spread the icing all over the surface of the rectangle using a palette knife. Bake for 2 min. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and leave to cool down and set completely (about 2h). Cut into squares or rectangles.
* 145°C (295°F) if using a convection oven
Pure honey has been pasteurized but doesn’t contain any added ingredients (oil, artificial flavor, sweeteners, artificial coloring).
Leckerli tastes better the day after baking.
If you only use milk and no alcohol the cookies will be less chewy. If you want to avoid this happening, don’t let the dough rest and bake it straight after having shaped the rectangle.
The cookies will keep for up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry room.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 127
Keywords: spiced cookies, soft christmas cookie recipe, alsatian desserts