Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Note From Del

I've been baking cookies. Among the cards and sheets in the recipe file was this:
Subject: Almost enough time
Dale: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 14:57:32 PST
From: "Del Kahn"

We just may have enough time for this one.
These have molasses in them instead of honey or brown sugar, and were truly baked in the old-fashioned German way. The dough, which had to sit for 3 weeks in a cool basement, was made early in December so the cookies would be ready by the Christmas holidays. They are still great if you don't have the full 3 weeks. But the flavors really have time to marry this way and they have such a wonderful flavor.
Braune lebkuchen
(Brown Christmas Cookies)
3 lbs (1350 g) flour (bout 6 cups, 1.5 L)
1 lb (450 g) sugar (about 2 cups, 500 ml)
1+1/2 lb (675 g) molasses (about 3 cups, 350 ml)
5 oz 140 g) Butter
5 oz 140 g) Lard or shortening
2 oz (60 g) candied orange peel
1/4 oz (7 g) baking powder
1 cup (250 ml) rose water (or l cup water)
1/2 oz (15 g) Cloves
1/2 oz (15 g) Cinnamon
grated lemon rind
1 cup (250 mL) almonds, blanched and split in halves
It is better to take again as much butter and lard. Cook molasses and sugar for a little. Let cool. Stir everything else in. Then add flour. Leave dough stand for three weeks. Roll out fairly thin, cut into rectangles 1 and a half inches by 3 inches (4 x 8 cm) with a fluted cutting wheel, or just a knife. Brush with beaten egg to make them glossy, decorate each with 1/2 slice of almond, and bake for about 10 minutes. This recipe makes lots of cookies, but they keep well if kept in a tightly covered tin or in the freezer.

They're good. Remember them for next year. Or Start to celebrate Martian Christmas which is maybe two weeks after Ukrainian Christmas. Or call them Chinese New Years cookies. Whatever.
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