Swiss Christmas Cookie Recipe: Bündner Grassins with Chocolate

As part of a paid partnership with Migros, I’m sharing my recipe for a classic Swiss Christmas cookie, Grassins, made with Migros Bio butter.

A traditional biscuit from Graubünden, Grassins are popular during the holiday season. You’ll find them mainly in the Engadine region of this Swiss canton. In this region, they’ve existed since at least the 19th century. While these biscuits may seem quite simple, they were originally made during a time when white flour was considered a luxury item in this valley, reserved for special occasions.

The Importance of Butter…

Made with a shortcrust pastry, these cookies contain a lot of butter! As such, it’s important to choose a high-quality butter. I use a Swiss organic and unsalted butter from Migros: Kochbutter (German) / Beurre de cuisine (French) / Burro da cucina (Italian). From the Migros Bio product line, it contains 100% organic cream from Switzerland.

The other main ingredients in these cookies are flour, sugar and salt. Some bakers will also add eggs—either a whole egg or just the yolk. I prefer them without an egg, otherwise I find they too closely resemble another Swiss cookie for Christmas—the Milanais, which always contains some egg.

Adding Swiss Chocolate to Grassins…

I like Grassins just how they are, a simple biscuit that goes well with a hot mug of coffee, tea or vin chaud (hot mulled wine). At the same time, if you want to give these cookies an extra sweet kick, you can try them with chocolate. As soon as they come out of the oven, gently press a chocolate coin on the top of the biscuit.

Grassins with chocolate look festive, taste so good, and thankfully, require very little effort!

Grassins with Chocolate

Recipe adapted from Bewährte Kochrezepte aus Graubünden (p. 61, 1964).

Ingredients


– 180 grams unsalted butter, softened
– 110 grams sugar
– 250 grams flour
– a pinch of salt
dark or milk chocolate coins (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix the sugar and butter together until well-blended.
  2. Add the flour and salt to the mixture and stir together just until a dough forms. Take dough out of the bowl and form into a flattened disk. Wrap in parchment paper and put in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes.
  3. On a floured surface and with a rolling pin dusted in flour, roll out the dough to about 5 mm thick (about a quarter inch). Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles in the dough and gently place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for about 8-10 minutes at 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F. Immediately after you take them out of the oven, gently press a chocolate coin in the center of the cookie. Place on a wire rack to cool. The chocolate will become very soft – let them rest, untouched, until they become hard again. To speed up this process, you can chill them in the refrigerator.

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