Mailanderli (Swiss Butter Cookies)

Growing up, my favorite Christmas cookie was Mailanderli. This Swiss recipe yields buttery, crunchy golden cookies with a citrus essence. As a kid, I loved making the dough and cutting shapes with shiny metal cutters. After the cookies were baked, we kept them in a brightly colored Christmas tin. I remember eating them by the dozen. Christmas is here again and this year I was inspired to bring this tradition back into my own home.



  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/8 cups butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange (or lemon) zest
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten


  1. Beat the two egg yolks and set aside. These will be used to brush to the tops of the cookies later.
  2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Blend in sugar and beat until mixture is thick and pale, about 10 minutes. Mix in the melted butter and salt. Gradually fold in the flour and orange zest. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or, preferably, overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheet.
  4. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies on greased cookie sheet and brush with beaten egg yolks.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until golden at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool cookies on racks.
Yields about 50 cookies

This recipe was slightly modified from Cindy’s. See original recipe at:

2 thoughts on “Mailanderli (Swiss Butter Cookies)

  1. Mmmmhhh, they MUST be perfect because they look perfect! “E Guete” and “Frohe Weihnachten” from Zurich/Switzerland, Lorenz

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