‘Tis the Season

Swiss Edition

Schoggibirnen

Swiss Chocolate & Pears

Using just 3 ingredients, the Schoggibirnen is arguably the simplest Swiss dessert.

Ingredients

  • Fresh pears, peeled (leave the stem for easy handling and esthetics) or substitute 1 tin of pears
  • ½ Cup dark chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Method

Steam peeled pears for approximately 8 minutes. Let them cool before placing on 3-4 dessert plates. Using a saucepan, add chocolate (in pieces) and the butter. Carefully melt the chocolate at low heat while stirring (make sure the chocolate sauce doesn’t start boiling, otherwise it’ll turn crumbly).

Pour the chocolate sauce over the pears and enjoy while the sauce is still warm!

Spitzbuben

Swiss Christmas Cookies

Spitzbuben is a must-have dessert at any Swiss Christmas party. These cookies really stand out thanks to the brightly contrasting fruit filling. The Swiss prefer to use raspberry, lemon, or apple jam.

Ingredients

  • 10 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp almond extract

For finishing

  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Jam or Jelly

Method

DOUGH: Knead the ingredients for the cookie dough together. Cover and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

BAKING: Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll the dough out very thinly (1/8 inch). Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes, and cut a hole in the middle of half of the shapes. Arrange all on baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, until very lightly browned.

ASSEMBLY: Let the cookies cool, then turn the whole shapes over and cover them with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Top with a cookie that has a center hole and sprinkle the top with confectioners’ sugar.