Part of the grandiose Swiss Christmas Cookie repertoire, the Mailänderli (Little Milano) cookie is perhaps among the most ‘Swiss’ of them all. The Mailänderli cookie is buttery with a hint of lemon and brushed with an egg yolk wash to give it a golden yellow and shiny finish. Mailänderli or Milanais (literally translated to “little milano” in English) and are a great alternative to the standard short bread cookie.
This cookie dough is great to cut out a variety of shapes and especially fun for children to work with! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I enjoy cooking and baking as it is a creative outlet and I welcome decorative challenges, so as a child, besides the Spitzbeube, the Mailänderli provided me with the medium to which I could express my creativity!
Having a father as a chef and a mother who is an exceptional cook, I had an arsenal of cookie cutters at my disposal. When I say arsenal, I mean I was fortunate to have at least 100 different shapes and sizes to choose from and it was like Christmas just to have the opportunity to create using all those cutters!
- 250 grams (1 stick + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
- 225 grams granulated sugar (1 cup 1½ tablespoons)
- ⅛ teaspoon of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- zest from one lemon
- 500 grams flour (4 cups)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- silver candy pearls for decoration
- In a stand mixer, or a large bowl with hand mixer, beat butter until smooth and soft. Beat in sugar and salt until creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time, and beat until the mixture is pale in color.
- Using the dough hook attachment on the stand mixer, or wooden spoon, incorporate the flour and form a dough. Divide dough in half and flatten to make 2 disks, cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C) and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prepare egg wash by combining egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼" thickness.
- Using cookie cutters, cut out various shapes, place on prepared cookie sheet and brush each cookie with egg wash and let the cookies chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
- Place cookies in the preheated oven and bake 8-10 minutes in oven. Remove promptly and let cool on cooling rack. Makes about 60 cookies. Enjoy!