Adeline Sanoy, e-mail message to Michael Miller.
My Grandmother's and some of my Aunt's baked these cookies. (I
have also, and I was wondering whether they are a German-Russian
or European recipe. Or was Baking Ammonia was the leavening used,
before baking powder.
Hartshorn* Cookies (Makes 60-75 cookies depending on cut size)
1/2 C shortening
1-1/2 C sugar
2-3/4 to 3-1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C milk
1 med lemon juiced
1/2 tsp hartshorn
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream shortening, sugar,
and vanilla. Stir in eggs and beat well. Dissolve hartshorn in milk
and lemon juice (be careful this bubbles and expands) then add to
shortening mixture. Stir in 2-3/4 c. flour and salt. If sticky,
add more flour to handle easily. Roll out 1/4 inch thick on lightly
floured board and cut with fancy cutters. Place on baking sheets
about 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes (until
cookies are just turning brown on edges). Remove from oven, and
allow to cool for 1-2 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to wire
rack to cool. When cool frost with confectioners sugar icing and
sprinkle with colored sugar.
"Note: I find Hartshorn at specialty baking stores. Sometimes
it comes in powdered form and sometimes in lumps (if lumps, pound
it fine and then measure). It has also been found in Drug stores
under the name of Baking Ammonia. I have picked it up in a box,
including also a recipe and two vials of lemon extract. [for two
batches of cookies.] It is better known as baking ammonia or ammonium
carbonate. This smells like ammonia, but that does not affect the
flavor of the cookies.
Note: Confectioners sugar icing is confectioners sugar with milk, lemon juice, or water. Combine to reach desired consistency (personal preference, I like kind of runny). I use about 3/4 c. confectioner's sugar, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 3-4 tbs. water.