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Topic: Baker's Ammonia  (Read 7903 times)
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oneyedsally
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« on: August 14, 2008 02:30:11 PM »

Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum since I'm not really much of a cook. But I do love to bake and have recently started making lots of pies and cakes and cookies every weekend! (Unfortunately I tend to eat it all too, I'm not too happy with the scale right now.)

Well anyways, I've been dying to bake these cookies my Aunt Mary used to make every Christmas when I was little. I say she's my aunt but she's actually my grandma's aunt so she's like almost 100 years old! She's in a nursing home now and hasn't made them for years. I have her recipe and it calls for baker's ammonia. Does anyone know where to buy this? My grandma says you can typically find it in drug stores, but I live in Ohio and all we have are CVS and Walgreen's. In West Virginia (where Aunt Mary lives) there are still family owned stores that carry it but I've never seen it up here. Has anyone heard of this product and know where I can buy it?

Thanks!  Grin
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GenaG
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008 06:44:21 PM »

I am new too, but being that I LOVE to cook pretty much anything and being a Chemist.... I HAD to know what this stuff was too. I have never heard of it either.  Embarrassed

Here is a link to some off the net
http://kitchenkrafts.com/product.asp?pn=IN0083&sid=GOOGLE&TID=GL9120243&gclid=CL_Btb_bjpUCFRJdxwodxyhwgQ&bhcd2=1218764454

Apparently it is "Leavening agent called for in some cream puff, cookie, and springerle recipes. It is also called hartshorn and leaves no unpleasant alkaline off-flavor in your baked goods."

Well how about that. There you go.  Wink
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oneyedsally
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2008 07:07:59 PM »

Thanks for the link GenaG! Kind of pricey though with shipping...it's only a dollar less than the product itself! I don't know about $15 minimum for only 2.7 oz.

I've been doing a TON of research on it too (I am a chemical engineer!) and apparently it's what makes the cookies crisp, I remember it smells pretty bad while baking but you can't taste it in the finished cookie. Normal baking powder can be substituted but would produce softer cookies.

Now I am trying to remember what my aunt called them. We are of German ancestry, but all of the German recipes I find call for peppermint and mine has lemon. She just wrote "ammonia cookies" on the recipe but she called them something different that was definitely another language. I guess that would be my second question, does anyone know what the cookie is called?
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MizMosa
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008 01:05:05 PM »


Now I am trying to remember what my aunt called them. We are of German ancestry, but all of the German recipes I find call for peppermint and mine has lemon. She just wrote "ammonia cookies" on the recipe but she called them something different that was definitely another language. I guess that would be my second question, does anyone know what the cookie is called?

Maybe you're talking about springerle?

http://www.thespringerlebaker.com/ken_recipes.html
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Amastra
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008 04:28:16 AM »

I know the stuff ur talkin' about!!
Here in Norway we call it "hornsalt-' or 'hjortetakksalt' as in.. salt from the horns of a deer..cause it used to be made of them..

 Need me to send u some? its really cheap and u can get it everywhere! just send me a message.

http://www.matvareguiden.no/bilder/765.gif
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008 10:40:28 AM by jungrrl - Reason: Please do not hotlink images - thanks! » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Book Worm
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008 09:05:05 AM »

I bet you can order it from Sur La Table, they may even have one where you live. They are an excellent source for all your fussy cooking needs.
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crochetedkitten
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008 10:01:28 AM »

What are the chances that you would post the recipe?
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kimmy_sue05
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008 11:41:35 AM »

I never knew that they had a such thing a s baker's ammonia wow you learn something new everyday
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oneyedsally
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008 02:50:24 PM »

I sent you a message Amastra!


Maybe you're talking about springerle?

http://www.thespringerlebaker.com/ken_recipes.html

That might be it, except we've never used those beautiful molds. I wish I had some though, how pretty!

What are the chances that you would post the recipe?

Here you go ellen-j! I think this makes at least 10 or 12 dozen. There is a LOT of flour in this recipe! Last time we made this it was literally a whole day of baking and there were 3 people. One to roll, one to use the cookie cutters, one to bake.

3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 pt milk
1 oz baker's ammonia
1 cup shortening
small bottle oil of lemon
pinch of salt
enough flour for stiff dough (5 lb)

Roll out thin. Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

And that's all she wrote! They puff up really thick even if the dough is rolled out thin. We always put a few sprinkles on top too, the colored sugar crystal kind.
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supercake
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2008 12:25:52 PM »

thank you wikipedia! as i had never heard of baker's ammoina either.

Ammonium carbonate is the commercial salt, formerly known as sal volatile or salt of hartshorn. Ammonium carbonate is used when crushed as a smelling salt. It can be crushed when needed in order to revive someone that has fainted. It is also known as "baker's ammonia" and was a forerunner to the more modern leavening agents baking soda and baking powder.
As well as in smelling salts, as mentioned, ammonium carbonate is still used for leavening in particular recipes, particular northern European and Scandinavian. It can sometimes be susbstituted with baking powder, but the finished product will never be as airy and light as the original recipe. Icelandic loftkkur (air biscuits) for instance simply cannot be made with anything other than ammonium carbonate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_carbonate

Buckleys cough syrup from Canada also uses ammonium carbonate as an active ingredient intended to help relieve symptoms of bronchitis.
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