Christmas Biscuits: Sablés

We call them "GUETZLI"

The Swiss are as Christmas biscuit baking crazy as their neighbours in Austria and Germany and it is quite common to bake a dozen different ones.

We're only two at home and so have become lazy, so only a couple ofeasy favourites make it. These one is non negotiable though. We usually make a quadruple portion.




250g Soft Butter
250g Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Salt (if unsalted butter)
Zest of a Lemon
500g Flour
3 tbs Rum
150g Raisins

From a collection of recipes from Switzerland in the 60's, a very simple "sandy" cookie (sable) with raisins (other variants possible with cocoa, almonds, chocolate chips, candied orange, icing etc.).

They are extremely good for such a simple recipe. This was one of the favourite Christmas biscuits in our house and one we made mountains off so they would last into the winter.

Also shared on recipe site forkd


Soak the raisins in rum or rum and warm water (I use half/half) for 30 minutes.

Work the butter until is is creamy (it turns white and starts having a whipped texture). This is tiring work but needed for the biscuits to have the right texture.

Add the sugar and mix thoroughly.

Add the 2 eggs mixed with the salt (if unsalted butter is used) and the lemon zest.

Gradually add the flour and the drained raisins, knead it all together well (I just dump it in all at once).

Roll the dough into long sausages, wrap in foil or plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set, preferable for an hour or even overnight. (If you are planning to cut it into shapes just leave the dough in a big ball to rest for 1 hour or longer.)

Preheat oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 (350°F).

Cut the dough rolls into 1/2cm slices and place on a baking tray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Note: These freeze well in plastic containers - we made them in November then froze them till Christmas where we would give them as gifts.

Note: I always double the recipe, would triple/quadruple it except I find the butter too much work then, so i do several double batches, usually when butter is on promotion.


The same base without raisins can be rolled and cut in shapes and glazed.

We have also done it with orange zest, candied orange and an orange juice frosting.


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