Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ammonia Cookies and Honey Cakes

“GRUZNIKJE” – Ammonia Cookies and HONIGKUCHEN - Honey Cakes

Some years back, 1998 to be exact, I learned about Baking Ammonia.  I was concerned about using it for leavening, but was assured that the baking time evaporates all the ammonia.  Northern Europeans like to use it because it makes cookies light and crisp.  This is certainly true with this particular sugar cookie recipe.  They melt in your mouth.

The honey cakes taste like the outside of a fig newton bar and stay moist if you keep them in a covered tin.  They have a wonderful anise taste.  I read somewhere that “Anise” is the Spice of Christmas.  

Baking Ammonia can be difficult to find.  The best place to look is in drug stores, baking supply stores, or mail order catalogs.  Baker’s Ammonia is actually ammonium carbonate and if bought in chunks, must be crushed into a powder.

My mother always made several kinds of cookies during the Christmas holidays.  She would share them with family, friends, and neighbors.  This is a tradition I carry on.  I start my baking right about now, the middle of December.  My freezer and cupboards fill with goodies and there are even some left for Christmas Day.
If you enjoy baking, you won’t be disappointed with these recipes.


1 cup shortening
½ cup butter
2 cups white sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking ammonia (mix in flour)
1 cup flaked coconut
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on cookies

Cream shortening, butter, and sugar.  Add salt, baking ammonia, flour, and coconut.
Roll into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 325 for 20 minutes
Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar


1 ¾ cups honey
½ cup butter
½ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. liquid anise
1 ½ tsp. baking ammonia
5 cups flour

Boil honey for one minute.  Let cool and add butter and sour cream.  Then add eggs, anise, and flour with baking ammonia.
Spread l/2 inch thick onto greased pan.  Brush on egg white.

Bake 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown

Cut into squares