Source: Beerli Recipe ca. 1938

Mai Länderli cookie
Mai Länderli


I must thank my father-in-law who passed this lovely, old family recipe of Mailaenderli along to me. Typed on a piece of paper, he highlighted his top four holiday cookie recipes for me. Well, here we have the winner. The typical Swiss finish on the cookie is before baking, paint on egg yolk and sprinkle a bit of sugar on each cookie. Simple, easy, traditional.

typewriter recipe of mailaenderli
typewriter recipe of mailaenderli

After re-working with this cookie dough for these Mailaenderli the past holiday season, I’ve decided that these are the perfect holiday cookies. The dough is so soft and buttery, so nice to roll out and work with on cutting different shapes and figures. They bake fast, and they hold up and last. The taste is very delicate and light. It’s not overly sweet, nor under sweet. I worked with a Martha Steward basic icing recipe. It consisted of powder sugar, egg whites and a bit of water. Simple and stored very well for a few days w/ out separation. If you’d like to make alternative colors, just make small batches at a time separately. For example, I worked with natural vegan dye for the colors. So, I mixed a small batch of the yellow, pink, and so on. My color choices were limited since I went with natural, plant based colors. But, it was enough for me. Give this cookie a try over the next holiday…Valentines, Easter, 4th of July, or the next Christmas

cookies on platecolorful icing on cookiesdifferent shaped cookiesmailaenderli iced on cooling rack


It’s a no-fail recipe, it’s heritage, and it’s very European! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Swiss
Keyword Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 500 gr white flour
  • 250 gr sugar
  • 250 gr butter soft
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch lemon peel grated


  • Once dough is worked together either by hand or by mixer, lay out on a floured surface.
    maillaenderli dough ready to roll out
  • Roll dough about 1″ thick.  Choose your cookie shapes.  Be sure you keep the working surface well floured. 
    santa form for mailaenderli
  • cutting with different shapes
    snowbell form for mailaenderli
  • if you choose to stick with the traditional finish with these cookies, once cookies are cut and laid out, brush them with an egg yolk and bit of suger mixture, then bake.
    traditional mailaenderli cookie
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.  Cool completely, and get ready to ice if desired.
    santas on baking sheet
  • for icing:  mix 3 egg whites along with 3 cups of confectioners sugar, and a bit of vanilla.  Beat or whip until light and fluffy.  Take out desired amounts and add color to smaller batches.  Pipe in icing bag for best results.  It takes about 15+ minutes to dry on the cookie for storage. 
    icing for cookies
  • have fun with your chosen colors
    colorful icing on cookies
  • and chosen shapes
    different shaped cookies
  • let dry completely before packing up
    cookies on plate
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