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Milanais, Mailänderli in German.  The most “Swiss” of all Christmas cookies, this shortbread with delicate lemon taste is easy to make and popular in every corner of the country. It’s name refers to Milan, an Italian city loved by the Swiss.


  • 227g unsalted butter
  • 204g sugar
  • one pinch of salt
  • three eggs
  • 27.5ml lemon juice
  • 450g white unbleached flour
  • one egg yolk
  • 5ml water


  • Soften the butter until smooth (or melt in a microwave oven).
  • Stirr in the eggs, sugar, salt lemon juice until smooth.
  • Add and incorporate the flour.


  • Prepare your baking sheets.  Cover them with either a silicone mat (my preference) or baking paper.
  • Roll out the dough on a flat and dry surface to approximately 1/4 inch (7mm) thick.
  • Cool the dough at least 30 minutes in the fridge (or 15 minutes in the freezer for a quick cooling).  The temperature of the dough is critical for cutting.  Too warm and the cookies will smear.  Too cold and the dough will be too hard.
  • Use a metal cookie cutter to cut shapes.  Dip it into fresh cold water before every cut to prevent sticking.
  • Mix the egg yolk with 5ml water and brush it lightly on the top surface of the cookies.


  • Bake in the center of the pre-heated oen at 360°F for 21 minutes.


One Response

  1. Love the Milanais. Made them last night and didn’t have that many to put away. The lemon juice offsets the butter and sugar very nicely. Thanks

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