Swiss cookies demystified

swiss cookies

New cookie displays have appeared in the supermarket the last few weeks. Just when I have been doing so well with my running and eating healthy! I asked a Swiss friend to explain them and she tried to tell me a little about how they are made but said that the flavors and textures are distinct and had to be sampled personally. SO because I am a giver, and because I would do just about anything for a comment on this blog, I took one for the team. I bought 1 package each of the 4 cookies on the display. My girlfriend said that like Wild season and Sauser season, these cookies are to mark the coming of Herbstfest- Autumn. They are often sold at fall fairs and carnivals. When I requested help from my children for a very special job they immediately looked suspicious, mournful and I could see there eyes darting around for an escape route. I don’t often pull this kind of pranks so it is really fun when I get to announce that they must help taste test cookies.

swiss cookies overhead #

So here is the breakdown:

  1. Schenkeli (this must be a Swiss-German name since it seems like all Swiss-German words end in ‘li’ ~ I’ve been told it’s a suffix that gives meaning of “little/cute” to everything). I have seen these in Bakery windows lately and I am CERTAIN they taste better when they are fresh, the ones I purchased at Coop probably have some preservatives and are not fresh-from-the-fryer. Yes, fryer. These are a fried dough cookie. At a glance I expected something very crunchy and when I asked Axel for his impression, he said the same thing. This was Coco’s favorite cookie overall but I would almost rather describe it as a cake donut, that had gotten a little hard and stale. It is not as sweet as the cake donuts in the states and has a light lemony flavor. The Coop version is not very impressive but from experience I know that fresh-fried anything is disturbingly addictive.
  2. Marroni Biscuits- This was mine and Axel’s favorite. It is named for chestnuts one of the 3 nuts that make up this slightly chewy cookie. It’s flavor is very difficult to describe which is why my friend suggest just sampling them. At first I thought they contained dessicated coconut because of the texture, but no. I also thought they tasted a little like licorice, just at tiny hint, and maybe a little coffee flavor too?  I was a little off base, turns out they are made mostly of almond meal, have a few ground up hazelnuts, and a little coco powder too, although I didn’t taste chocolate. Over-all Axel and I both thought these were the best.
  3. Markt- Magenbrot- Both kids thought these were brownies when they were about to eat them. Turns out they are like a chewy molasses brownie with Cinnamon and honey. They are pretty strong tasting and surprisingly sweet for a Swiss delicacy. I was glad they were small and about the size of a fat thumb, because one was very satisfying. Since they do not sell Molasses here, I am very curious to find out what’s in them that makes the distinct flavor. I guess that’s pretty good incentive to learn German.
  4. Zwetschgen Tortchen- These are pleasant and tasty, a simple sugar cookie with a plum marmalade filling sandwiched between the cookie layers and topped with a tiny bit of sugar glaze. They were everyone’s second favorite cookie.

Are you a Swiss cookie connoisseur? Do you know whats in the Markt- Magenbrot? Come Switzerland and try some for yourself.


8 thoughts on “Swiss cookies demystified

  1. Great round up. I have stumbled across molasses in migros – it’s called Tafelmolasses and is around the honey and jams. I’m assuming this is similar to the molasses you are referring to – I use it as a replacement for golden syrup (although a little darker in color)

    • no, almonds don’t seem to bother me- unless I eat a lot, which i try not to. Everything here seems to contain nuts, their favorite is hazelnut. Kinda like Pecans are to the deep south. I am not a big fan of the taste of hazelnuts, but they don’t seem to cause me any allergy.

  2. Thanks for the explanation Holly. After all these years it is nice to know something about these cookies. I have not found any that I am in Love with yet. And that is probably a good thing.

  3. They sound super yummy! I love hazelnuts, so I’m thinking #2 might also be my favorite…although the chewy brownie one sounds good too! I live molasses!

  4. The marroni biscuits sound gluten free or nearly so. Bet I’d love them. I love learning about seasonal treats from another place- blissful fun.

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