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THE HARDNESS OF LeBKUCHEN

post #1 of 7
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HI ,im wanting to make the hard ginger spice biscuits now for christmas time,ive made them befor and they went soft in a week,i used molasses,baking powder and bi-carb soda,would this have been the reason,should i have used ammonia carbonate,can any one helh with the science of the crisp cookie
post #2 of 7
I have a feeling there might be something in The New International Confectioner about Lebkuchen. I'll look and let you know.
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post #3 of 7
Well, there is something in there, but I can't figure it out. None of the recipes use baking soda, mostly ammonium carbonate. Doesn't look like much fun to me.
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post #4 of 7
Ammonium carbonate? Did you say ammonium carbonate? Oh, please, please, bighat, could you maybe post a recipe? Or any ammonium carbonate tips they may mention?

I've been dying to try it (just because! Just because it exists! Just because I am that kind of historical/experimental fool! I must try it!) I have some, but I haven't been able to find any recipes or hints for use or anything... just a lot of converted historical recipes with prefatory notes saying stuff like, "The original version of this recipe used ammonium carbonate, of course, but I have adapted it."

So in short, if you could offer me any leads, I would be SO very much obliged!
post #5 of 7
all right, you asked for it. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Almond Lebkuchen--Mandellebkuchen

Blanched Almonds...13 lb 4 oz
Sugar...19 lb
Egg whites...6 lb 9 oz
Flour...4 lb 8 oz
Chopped candied lemon peel...2 lb 4 oz
Chopped candied orange peel...2 lb 4 oz
Ground cinnamon...5 oz
Ground clove...2 1/2 oz
Ground mace...1 3/4 oz
Ground cardamom...1 3/4 oz
Ammonium...2 3/4 oz
Potash...3/4 oz
grated zest of 2 lemons

Grate the almonds after blanching and drying, mix with one third of the sugar and moisten with egg whites. Then grind between rollers, add the remaining ingredients and work thoroughly. Scale off the mixing (apporoximately 2 oz (60 gr.) to wafer 4 in. (10 cm) in diameter and spread on the wafers.

Place on sheets covered with cardboard and decorate with halved, blanched almonds. After drying, bake off carefully. After baking, leave until cold before icing.
The New International Confectioner.

So that's it. Good luck. What the heck is potash and where do you get that? Have you tried Rose Levy Beranbaum's Christmas cookie book? I've tried lebkuchen before but I'll have to beat the bushes to find my source. You can also use up ammonia in pate a choux as it gives a lot of oven bang, and it is also added to some cookies to make them crisp.
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post #6 of 7
Just this afternoon I made a batch of my mom's liebkuchen, but they are soft- dense like a good brownie, but not crisp. I'd be interested in crisp versions, too. Are these like Basler Leckerli?
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post #7 of 7
I've never made this formula, but I think I made Nick Malgieri's last winter. The guy I work for is married to a German woman and they always bring some back, nicely packaged, sitting on a rice paper wafer or whatever that is. Making them yourself is like trying to duplicate an Oreo.
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