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.