Monday, November 7, 2011

Appenzeller biberli: Swiss gingerbread with marzipan filling

Swiss have one, Russian have one too. Gingerbread with filling! Appenzeller biberli is little different than regular gingerbread, because it has 3 different layers. Appenzeller biberli means little beaver.

This recipe is loaned from website with other good recipes too. You can find pictures, information and recipes from Thomas Collection - Cookie and cakeboards

Dough was rather sticky, so try work with it while it is properly chilled and avoid too much handling. Marzipan with this recipe was easiest part, and it was more better to work with than dough itself. Below ingredients as European measurement units.

Appenzeller biberli



300 g of wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 / 2 teaspoon cloves
1 / 4 teaspoon mace
1 / 4 teaspoon ginger
170 g of honey
85 g of syrup
67 g of sugar
1 lemon peel

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda   <--- I recommend these two, see below 


100 g finely grounded almonds
125 g caster sugar
1 lemon peel
2 tablespoon water, kirch or rosewater


Gently roll cutter bigger than gingerbread around, it will smooth edges after sealing gingerbread with fingers.

Preparing dough and marzipan is easy, just mix all together, avoid using too much liquid with marzipan. Using 1/3 tps hartshorn instead original recipe's leavening agents are my own decision... I still have hard time to believe in other leavening agents, as I really should. Note to myself: Follow original recipe.


While dough and marzipan are both well chilled it should be easy to roll them on nonsticky surface and take 2 equal size parts for gingerbread and bit smaller part for marzipan. I decided to use round cookie stamps since I have round fluted gingerbread cutters. I picked little different sized cutters, so I could seal off gingerbread. Bake in +160 C degrees for 20-30 minutes.

More about Appenzeller biberli, or Appenzeller Bärli-Biber

Here is links for more information about Appenzeller biberli and local version of it, Appenzeller Bärli-Biber. You can both find movie about preparing these swiss gingerbread and, my personal favorite, song about them too!

Listening song about Appenzeller Bärli-Biber always makes me smiling. It makes me imagine group of swiss people just having good time with local gingerbread. Ah, the richness of European gingerbread culture !

Main site: Appenzeller Bärli-Biber (click video for movie on site)
Theme music for Appenzeller biberli -baking (click player for music on site)

About my own result

Next time I will try using baking powder and soda as original recipe called. My Appenzeller biberli looked nice but had bit too hard texture, and looked like it didnt raise that much with hartshorn only. Also marzipan filling need to be quite big, as you can see from main picture poor gingerbread looks rather empty inside.

Despite little mistakes I did enjoy making these gingerbreads, and they have intresting looks compared to more flat gingerbreads. Marzipan melts inside gingerbread, so it will have more smooth taste than raw marzipan would have. Lemon peel for instance fades away, wich really tasted strongly while testing marzipan. This recipe will be seen again in future!

Inspiration for Biberli bakers