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Print this Recipe    Basel Leckerli

Basel Honey-Spice Cookies (Basel Leckerli)
Makes 50 to 60 1x2 1/2-inch bars

2/3 cup clover honey
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. Kirsch (cherry brandy) or orange juice
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Finely grated peel (yellow part only) of one large lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped candied lemon peel
1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
2/3 cup finely chopped blanched slivered almonds
2 1/4 cup all-purpose or unbleached white flour (or more)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously grease two 10-by-14-inch or
larger baking sheets.

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 add 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.

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