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Gray Kunz, Café Gray, Grayz, New York City
Until I was 10 years old, my family lived in Singapore among the Swiss expatriate community. It was a strange place to have Christmas: We'd spend the day running around in shorts and then visit Santa Claus, who was an Indian man with a brown face and a white beard. My father had two Chinese cooks who made our Christmas dinner, so there were always a handful of Asian dishes on the table. Just about my favorite thing was the Basler Läckerli cookies my father would have sent to us from Switzerland. The second word refers to the topping— the cookies have the most delicious kirsch icing that you just lick away at. Underneath the icing, they're dense, chewy, honey-spice bars filled with dried fruits and cinnamon. Even now, 40 years later, they're still the taste of Christmas for me.

Recipe: Basler Läckerli Cookies