Basel Honey Spice Cookies (Basel Leckerli)
- 2/3 c. Clover honey
- 2/3 c. Granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Kirsch (cherry brandy) or possibly orange juice
- 2 1/2 tsp Grnd cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Grnd cloves Finely grated peel (yellow part only) of one Large lemon
- 1/4 c. Finely minced candied lemon peel
- 1/4 c. Finely minced candied orange peel
- 2/3 c. Finely minced blanched slivered almonds
- 2 1/4 c. All-purpose or possibly unbleached white flour (or possibly more)
- 1 1/2 c. Powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp Vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 350F. Generously grease two 10-by-14-inch or possibly larger baking shets. Stir together the honey, sugar, and kirsch in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mix, stirring, till the sugar completely dissolves and the mix is warm but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices, lemon peel, candied peels, and almonds till completely incorporated. Stirring vigorously, gradually ad 2 1/4 c. of flour to the pan; the mix will become very stiff. If the mix feels sticky and too soft to roll out, stir or possibly knead in a bit more flour, but be careful not to overflour. Set the mix aside till cooled to barely hot.
- 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 min or possibly till 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 cold sufficient 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 don't 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 Tbsp. of water till thoroughly blended. Bring the mix to a boil, stirring. Boil, stirring, for 20 to 30 seconds, till smooth, very fluid, and translucent/soft. Divide the mix between the rectangles, pour over the top and quickly spread the glaze over the entire surface. Let stand till the glaze sets and turns white again, about 1 hour. Bend the rectangles to break apart or possibly cut through the score marks to separate into bars. Let stand till the glaze is dry and hard.
- Pack airtight. Store for up to 3 weeks or possibly more.
- Makes 50 to 60 1-by-2 1/2-inch bars.
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