Crafting Culinary Elegance: A Journey with Mailänderli

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Embark on a delightful journey into the heart of Swiss confectionery with Mailänderli – delicate and buttery Swiss shortbread cookies that encapsulate the essence of festive joy and timeless tradition. These golden treats, adorned with a sprinkle of sugar, have been a staple in Swiss households for generations. Join us as we unravel the secrets behind crafting these tender and flavorful cookies, exploring the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, cook’s notes, variations, and even keto and low-carb adaptations. Let’s dive into the world of Mailänderli, where each bite is a celebration of simplicity and sophistication.

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For the Mailänderli Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Lemon zest from one lemon (optional)
  • Additional flour for rolling

For Sugar Coating:

  • Granulated sugar for rolling and dusting


Crafting Mailänderli Cookies:

  1. Creaming Butter and Sugar:
    • In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Incorporating Eggs:
    • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using.
  3. Sifting Dry Ingredients:
    • In a separate bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Combining Wet and Dry:
    • Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Chilling the Dough:
    • Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or until firm.
  6. Rolling and Cutting:
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters.
  7. Sugar Coating:
    • Roll each cookie in granulated sugar, ensuring they are generously coated. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Baking to Perfection:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Be cautious not to overbake; Mailänderli should remain tender.
  9. Cooling and Storing:
    • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Cook’s Notes

  • Butter Quality: Use high-quality butter for the best flavor. In Swiss tradition, Mailänderli is known for its rich buttery taste.
  • Chilling Time: Chilling the dough not only firms it up for easier rolling but also enhances the flavor and texture of the cookies.


Almond Infusion:

  • Add a touch of almond flavor by incorporating almond extract or finely ground almonds into the dough.

Citrus Zest Elegance:

  • Experiment with different citrus zests such as orange or lime for a citrusy twist.

Keto Versions

Almond Flour Alchemy:

  • Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour for a keto-friendly alternative.

Erythritol Sweetness:

  • Substitute granulated sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol in both the cookie dough and sugar coating.

Low-Carb Versions

Coconut Flour Magic:

  • Experiment with coconut flour in place of all-purpose flour for a lower-carb adaptation.

Stevia Delight:

  • Use stevia as a sugar substitute in the dough and coating for a low-carb sweetness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I freeze Mailänderli dough?

A: Yes, you can freeze Mailänderli dough for future use. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and thaw in the refrigerator before rolling and baking.

Q: Can I use salted butter?

A: While you can use salted butter, using unsalted butter allows better control over the cookie’s overall saltiness. Adjust salt accordingly if using salted butter.

Q: How thick should I roll the dough?

A: Aim for a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Thicker cookies will be softer, while thinner ones will be crisper.

Q: Can I use cookie cutters other than traditional shapes?

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A: Absolutely! Get creative with your cookie cutters to personalize the shapes, especially during festive seasons.

Mailänderli is more than just a cookie; it’s a journey into the heart of Swiss tradition and the artistry of simplicity. These buttery delights bring warmth to holiday gatherings and joy to everyday moments. Whether you adhere to the classic recipe, explore variations, or venture into keto and low-carb adaptations, Mailänderli remains a symbol of elegance in the world of cookies. Share these golden treats with friends and family, savoring the rich buttery notes and tender texture. Let Mailänderli be a cherished addition to your baking repertoire, a timeless reminder that culinary excellence can often be found in the simplest of creations.

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