I received a wonderful email today from someone who grew up in Strasburg and remembered his family making Ammonia Cookies….. Well, I had to laugh because my Aunt Alice makes these every Christmas for her darling granddaughters. She gave me the recipe and I thought I can make these – I have ammonia in my bathroom. I decided against it because of the toxic nature of the ammonia. It was a good thing I did… read on.



Dear Ladies,
Today, as I scanned Mike Miller’s latest monthly GR letter, I saw the notice regarding your organization, namely, “The Tri-County Tourism Alliance for Emmons, Logan and McIntosh counties in south central North Dakota” and your plans for “Preserving the food culture of the Germans from Russia with recipes, stories and photos.”
I guess it sort of peaked my interest.
I recall that a couple of years or so ago there was an exchange of letters around the rather lethal sounding “ammonia cookies” that some people including my mother (Rosemary Fischer from Strasburg, ND) used to make especially around Christmas time.  In German, I seem to remember they were (are) known as Hirschhorn Kuechle.  And just recently somewhere (?) someone was amazed that something like that should actually have existed.  Ammonia Cookies!!??
I am writing to find out if perhaps in your planned new and comprehensive work you might also include a section on “Ammonia Cookies”.  I imagine it would need to contain a few words on just how to disarm the ammonia.  One wouldn’t want any law suits now, would one?
So much for now.  Happy GR cooking!

Fr. Jonathan Fischer, O.S.B.

Before I had a chance to make these cookies, I did a little research and came up something called BAKING AMMONIA… which is used in baking and not the stuff you use to clean your bathroom…

Just for fun… here is Aunt Alice’s recipe:

Hirshonsaltz Keacha or Baking Ammonia Cookies

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups soft butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup regular or sour milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon baking ammonia
5 1/2 cups flour

DIRECTIONS: Dissolve ammonia in milk. Mix all ingredients and let dough set overnight in a cool place.

Roll dough into 1/2-inch thickness on heavily floured board. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

While warm, frost with powdered sugar frosting and sprinkle with colored sugar or coconut. Plan at least 3 1/2 hours for baking and frosting… Merry Christmas.



About spidersue

Working on books, working, gardening, baking, canning, knitting, crocheting, reading, walking, getting older, getting wiser, love my children, love love love my grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Posted by Sue B. Balcom, Shared information posted by Sue B. Balcom and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to

  1. Carol Just says:

    Ahh! Those sweet childhood memories. My Godmother, Aunt Lydia Eckman Just, made the most divine Ammonia Cookies. Just thinking about them takes me back to my childhood and the influence she had on my cooking/baking. Without daughters to teach, Aunt Lydia spent her teaching time on me. Because of her I make good knephla, tasty strudles, yummy beet borscht and divine kuchen. I never quite got her Caramel Candy technique down, but she has a grandson who has it nailed. Aunt Lydia shared her Ammonia Cookie recipe with me, but I must admit that mine have never quite measured up.


  2. Jeannette says:

    I would like to know where to buy baking ammonia . My grandmother also made tthese cookies.


    • dasguteessen says:

      I will ask Uncle Ed today… and get back to you. I sure want to try them, they seem to really work well for cutout cookies.


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