On Marianne Haltenbach cookbook on Cooking in Switzerland, it says
“In the German part of Switzerland, Christmas without Christmas cookies is something UNIMAGINABLE. By the end of November or at the latest during advent nearly all households are busy kneading dough and making all shapes and sizes of cookies to be kept in tin boxes until Christmas”

I am Swiss by nationality and a registered voter of the German part of Switzerland. But I have never been to Switzerland on Christmas. My first exposure of Swiss Christmas traditions was in Aspen, Colorado, USA.

Quite a long way isn’t it? My ex boss had a property there and we (the crew) went along. Somewhere between work and going to town for errands I met many Americans of European descents. Mostly from Norway, Germany, Austria and a Swiss family, who literally have “adopted” and doted on me.

Thus my first exposure of a Swiss Christmas and those cookies, via Aspen. So let me share you BRUNSLI or Almond Christmas Cookies.

This recipe is adapted from Betty Bossi recipe collection, which has reached far flung seas and yet remained intact after countless of packing and unpacking.

For: 24 cookies
250 g ground almonds
250 g sugar
40 g icing sugar
40 g cocoa powder
2 – 3 egg white


  • Mix together ground almonds, sugar and coco powder, add the egg white
  • Work to a firm dough.

  • Let it stand for 20 mins.
  • Dust table with sugar.

  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of 8mm.
  • With the back of a fork mark the dough.

  • Using cookie cutters form into any shapes you wish and place on a greased baking sheet.
  • Let it rest and dry for at least 2 hours or over night before baking at 190 C for 10 min.

    You can add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg,
    Master Baker of Boston
    added cardamom (she does not like cinnamon) and her daughter decorated them with pink sugar.

    Try to use the finest cocoa powder, Dutch or French. I tried the Greek brand Ion but I did not like it.

    And please leave a piece for Santa too; do not forget the carrot and milk.

    I wonder the Greek Santa will eat a Swiss cookie.
    Maybe I should be baking the Greek Christmas cookie too.

    Photo Taken in 1999 in Snowmass, Aspen, Co Am grinning because I succesfully snowboarded and the Swiss people are anxious about my progress.