Chocolate-Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 9 mins

I love a spicy cookie!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 14 cups blanched whole almonds (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 12 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 18 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (NOT unsweetened) or 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped fairly fine
  • 14 teaspoon almond extract (generous)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 -5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, for rolling out cookies


  1. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line several baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  3. In a food processor, process the almonds and 1 cup powdered sugar until the almonds are powder-fine but not oily; stop the processor and scrape down the sides several times.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, and chocolate; continue processing until the chocolate is finely ground.
  5. Add the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar, the almond extract, and egg whites; process until the mixture is blended and just forms a mass.
  6. Set the dough aside for 5 to 10 minutes to stiffen slightly.
  7. Generously dust a work surface with powdered sugar. If the dough seems too soft to roll out easily, dust it with more sugar and knead until the consistency is manageable, but avoid adding any more sugar than absolutely necessary.
  8. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness, lifting it with a spatula frequently and re-dusting the surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
  9. Cut out the cookies using a 2 1/4-inch heart-shaped (or similar) cutter.
  10. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
  11. Bake the cookies for 9 to 12 minutes or until almost firm on top and slightly puffy.
  12. Let them stand on the foil lined baking sheets until completely cooled. Peel from the foil.
  13. Store airtight for 3 to 4 days. Freeze, airtight, for longer storage.


Most Helpful

This is a traditional Swiss cooky and traditionally baked a few weeks before Christmas. Together with other cookies it belongs to our Christmas cookies. Although I'm not a particular fan of it (I prefer Spitzbuben), a lot of Swiss love it. You can also buy Basler Brunsli in shops, but only around Christmas.

tigerduck September 19, 2005

These were every bit as delicious as the ingredients and Bunny Mom’s photograph suggested they would be. I even went out and bought myself a heart-shaped cookie cutter before making these! I’m NOT an experienced cookie-maker, so I owned NO cookie cutters. Such were the powers of persuasion of that enticing photograph that I wasn’t even daunted by Bunny Mom’s suggestion that the dough was tricky to roll out. It was, but as a novice cookie-maker, I probably would have found any dough tricky! I found Saturn’s instructions fantastically clear to follow, and I followed them almost exactly. I cut down on the amount of ground cloves (personal taste preference). I was just SO pleased with the attractive and flavoursome end result. Really yummy! Thank you Saturn for a great recipe!

bluemoon downunder September 18, 2005

I LOVE that these cookies have 0 cholesterol! And I adore the chocolate-spice taste too. They are a little touchy to roll out, but worth the effort.

Ms*Bindy September 16, 2005

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