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.
HERE IS THE NOTE I RECEIVED:
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
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.