These gluten free Swiss Brunsli cookies are made wth delicious ingredients like almond flour and toasted spices, making them naturally gluten free. Once prepped, they take 10-12 minutes to bake. Super easy and such tasty traditional Swiss Christmas cookies.
As Santa, my Christmas Eve journey took me to the beautiful city of Zurich, Switzerland. The air was crisp, and a gentle snowfall blanketed the streets, creating a magical atmosphere. My reindeer guided my sleigh through the night sky, and we gracefully landed near the city center.
One particular market caught my eye, nestled near a picturesque square. The scent of freshly baked treats wafted toward me, drawing me closer. I followed my nose and discovered a small Swiss bakery, its display bursting with delectable goodies.
The friendly bakers greeted me warmly and insisted I try their famous gluten free Swiss Brunsli cookies. As I took a bite, a burst of flavors danced on my tongue. The rich taste of almonds and cinnamon melded together in perfect harmony. It was heavenly!
With a grateful smile, I bid farewell to the bakery and continued my journey. Zurich had charmed me with its festive spirit and the warmth of its people. As I soared back into the starlit sky, I remembered that gluten free Swiss brunsli cookie with me, savoring the sweetness of the moment. For another delicious Christmas cookie recipe, check out this Japanese matcha cookies.
What is Brunsli made of?
Brunsli, also known as Basler Brunsli, is a traditional Swiss cookie that is typically made of the following ingredients: ground almonds, powdered sugar, egg whites, cocoa powder, spices, and other optional ingredients.
How to make gluten free Swiss Brunsli cookies
Prepare the dry ingredients
Combine the ground almonds, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
Mix the wet ingredients and add them
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the almond extract to the egg whites and continue whisking until well combined.
Pour the egg white mixture into the dry ingredient mixture. Mix well until a thick dough forms. Use your hands to knead the dough if necessary.
Divide the dough into two equal portions. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the dough is firm.
Roll and cut cookies out
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a clean work surface with powdered sugar. Take one portion of the dough and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes, such as rectangles or circles. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Bake the cookies
Place the cut-out gluten free Swiss Brunsli cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are set and firm to the touch.
Remove the Gluten free Swiss Brunsli cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once the cookies are cool, sprinkle them with additional powdered sugar for a decorative touch. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Ingredient and substitution notes
Ground almonds: Ground almond meal is the base of these cookies, providing a nutty and rich texture. They are also what make these gluten free Swiss brunsli cookies. If you only have whole almonds, you can grind them in a food processor.
Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar is used to sweeten the cookies and adds a light and, as it is finely ground, gives the gluten free Swiss brunsli delicate touch to the texture.
Cocoa powder: For a deep, chocolatey flavor to the brunsli cookies, giving them their characteristic taste.
Ground cinnamon: Ground cinnamon contributes a warm and aromatic note, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
Ground cloves: Ground cloves add a hint of spiciness and complexity to the cookies, complementing the other flavors.
Ground nutmeg: Ground nutmeg lends a subtle nutty and slightly sweet flavor, enriching the cookie’s taste.
Egg whites: Act as a binding agent, holding the cookie dough together while providing moisture.
Almond extract: Almond extract intensifies the almond flavor, giving the cookies an extra almond boost.
These ingredients work together to create gluten free Swiss Brunsli cookies that are rich, aromatic, and delicious—combining ground almonds, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and spices results in an indulgent and satisfying treat.
Adding egg whites helps achieve the desired texture, while almond extract adds a delightful almond essence. Combined and baked to perfection, these ingredients produce mouthwatering Swiss brunsli cookies that many love, including me!!
Is Swiss cocoa good for baking?
Swiss cocoa powder is known for its high quality and superior flavor, making it an excellent choice for baking. Swiss cocoa powder is typically processed using a method called “Dutch processing,” which involves treating the cocoa beans with an alkalizing agent to reduce acidity and enhance the flavor. This process results in a cocoa powder with a smoother, more mellow flavor profile.
Swiss cocoa powder is often preferred for baking purposes because it dissolves easily and combines well with other ingredients. It lends a rich, deep chocolate flavor to baked goods and works well in various recipes such as cakes, cookies, brownies, and hot chocolate.
· Orange zest: Add the zest of one orange to the cookie dough to infuse it with a citrusy and refreshing flavor. The bright notes of orange will complement the chocolate and spices beautifully.
· Mint chocolate: Incorporate 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract into the dough for a delightful twist on traditional brunsli cookies. The cool and minty flavor pairs wonderfully with the rich chocolatey base.
· Espresso: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder in 1 tablespoon of hot water and add it to the dough. Adding coffee will intensify the chocolate flavor, creating a mocha-like experience.
· Hazelnut: Replace half of the ground almonds with ground hazelnuts. The nutty and slightly sweet flavor of hazelnuts will add a distinct twist to the cookies, reminiscent of Swiss chocolate treats.
· Raspberry: Mix in 1/4 cup of freeze-dried raspberry powder to the dough. This will impart a delightful tartness and natural pink hue to the cookies, creating a delicious contrast with the chocolate.
· Coconut: Stir in 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut to the dough. Adding coconut will bring a tropical touch to the cookies, giving them a unique flavor profile.
· Almond-Amaretto: Replace the almond extract with amaretto liqueur. This substitution will add a subtle almond liqueur flavor, enhancing the almond notes in the cookies.
Storage Instructions for Swiss Brunsli Cookies:
Room Temperature: Once the gluten free Swiss brunsli cookies have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent moisture from getting in. These cookies typically last up to 1 week when stored at room temperature.
Refrigerator: If you live in a warm and humid climate or prefer to extend the shelf life of the cookies, you can store them in the refrigerator. Place the cookies in an airtight container or a resealable bag, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Before serving, allow the cookies to come to room temperature for the best texture and flavor.
Freezer: They can be frozen if you want to keep Swiss Brunsli cookies longer. Place the cookies in a freezer-safe container or bag, ensuring they are well-protected. You can freeze them for up to 2 to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw the cookies at room temperature or gently reheat them in the oven for a few minutes to restore their freshness.
Note: When storing Swiss Brunsli cookies, it’s important to keep them separate from other cookies or baked goods, as they may absorb moisture and lose their unique texture and flavor.
Gluten free Swiss Brunsli cookies
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Additional powdered sugar for rolling
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground almonds, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg. Stir well to combine.2 cups ground almonds, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the almond extract to the egg whites and continue whisking until well combined.2 large egg whites, 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Pour the egg white mixture into the dry ingredient mixture. Mix well until a thick dough forms. Use your hands to knead the dough if necessary.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the dough is firm.
- Sprinkle a clean work surface with powdered sugar. Take one portion of the dough and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes, such as rectangles or circles. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Place the cut-out cookies onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are set and firm to the touch.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cookies are cool, you can sprinkle them with additional powdered sugar for a decorative touch. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.Additional powdered sugar for rolling
- No need to space the cookies out, they won’t spread.
- Make your own almond flour by adding whole, peeled almonds to a blender or food processor. Blend the meal fine or keep it a little chunky for a more rustic cookie.