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New Year, New Cookie

Happy New Year, all! As with every holiday, I feel obligated to share some music with you. :)

For New Year's Eve, "Auld Lang Syne" just makes sense, so here's my own arrangement of it. One of my favorite arrangements to date, it was featured on an album I did a few years ago, New Year's Eva.

Here's the link to the recording on SoundCloud. Enjoy!

And no, I haven't forgotten about The 12 Cookies of Christmas! Today, we continue with a cookie that's relatively new to me. Another King Arthur recipe that I adore. :) So without further ado...

Day 7 of The 12 Cookies of Christmas

Basler Brunsli

Photo credit: King Arthur Flour

The Swiss name is a bit of a mouthful, but once you get a mouthful of these cookies, you forget the bother of the title. The flavors make for a really interesting composition. You might not think that chocolate can go with a strong spice like cloves - oh, but it does!!

Here is the link to the recipe.

My Notes

  • Making "almond flour"

These can be gluten-free, using purely almond flour and no regular, wheat flour. I personally don't have any gluten issues (and I'd rather not spend an exorbitant amount on almond flour), so I made a modification here. I used a food processor to whiz 1 1/2 C. almonds into a powder, not so far as to make butter though. Just process 'til light, fluffy and finely ground. Then I brought the amount up to 2 1/2 C. by adding 1 C. of regular flour. The mixture will still be heavy on nuts, just not as expensive... and not entirely gluten-free. Maybe gluten-deficient would be the term?

  • Just egg whites?

You read that right. The only liquid ingredient in this recipe is egg white. I believe this is what creates the unique Basler Brunsli texture. Chewy on the inside and a very thin layer of crispness on the outside. Another thing to note is that you may need to add an additional egg white. Use your best judgment. If the dough fails to "ball up"when mixing and there are still dry ingredients on the sides of the bowl, maybe throw in another egg white.

  • Let the good times roll

Here's the fun part - rolling out the dough! Pay attention to King Arthur Flour's measurement when they say roll them to 1/4"in thickness. They know what they're talking about! Any thicker and they might not bake as well. Any thinner and you'll lose the chewy texture; it will be a thin, crisp and breakable cookie. Which leads me to my next point...

  • Be aggressive

Getting these cookies off the baking sheet is perhaps the most difficult task. This is not like removing a butter-based cookie. :) A metal, thin-edged spatula works best, as the larger, non-stick spatulas are too clumsy for this. In a careful, yet aggressive manner, force the metal spatula under each cookie in a swift motion to remove it from the pan. As I had alluded to before, thinner cookies may not hold up to this. (Broken cookies are the ones we get to eat right away!) Cookies of the appropriate thickness will survive just fine.

Just now, I realize these may sound like a struggle. I promise you it's not that bad. Like the biscotti, these cookies are a bit more involved, but entirely worth the effort. Promise! Once you dunk these in a cup of coffee and savor the incredible flavor profile of chocolate, nuts and spice, you can feel very proud of your accomplishment. :)

'Til next time,



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