Chocolate Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli)

42 cookies

A holiday tradition in Switzerland, these delicately spiced chocolate cookies are soft and chewy. Containing no flour, basler brunsli are loaded with ground almonds and chocolate and bound together with a couple of egg whites. To make our dough drier (and easier to work with), we employ confectioners’ sugar in place of some of the granulated sugar. And to amp up the chocolate flavor, we replace some of the bar chocolate with cocoa powder.


  • 1 3/4 cups slivered almonds
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for coating
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Process almonds and confectioners’ sugar in food processor until almonds are very finely ground, about 45 seconds. Add chocolate, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and salt and process until chocolate is finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add egg whites and vanilla and pulse until dough forms, about 10 pulses.

Transfer dough to piece of parchment paper, kneading gently to form smooth ball. Let dough sit until no longer sticky, about 10 minutes. Top with second piece of parchment and roll dough 1/4-inch thick; refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Spread remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in shallow dish. Using 2-inch star cutter, cut dough into shapes, rerolling scraps and rechilling as needed. Dip both sides of each star in granulated sugar to coat and space them 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake until cookies have puffed and cracked but centers are still soft, 13 to 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.

RecID 10950

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