Friday, September 18, 2009

Peppermint Cookies

( sorry there's no scratch and sniff)

I went over to my Mom’s to take photos of her while she was starting to bake Peppermint Cookies for the MCC Relief Sale. This is one way that she still feels she can contribute to a good cause with a gift that God has given her. She looked so cute in her jean dress and red checkered - embroidered apron, a gift from her own Mom!
Peppermint Cookies are soft white cookies that have a unique strong scent while they bake, because of the baking ammonia in them. I wondered if they could be made without ammonia and just peppermint extract, and she said that they would not be as “fluffy nor flavorful.” It’s the baking ammonia, which is a type of leavening agent, that gives them the distinct light texture, and peppermint oil does not evaporate, the way extract would, while baking. The little Mennonite ladies in our community find these things somewhere by word of mouth. It’s 'this delicatessen' or 'that bakery', but because this site is internationally read, I would suggest a candy making supply store, health food store, drugstore (ask pharmacist) or checking online.
Ingredients:
½ cup softened butter
2 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
½ cup oil
2 cups sour cream
20 - 25 drops peppermint oil (not extract)
2 Tbsp baking ammonia dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
8 cups flour

Method:
  1. Prepare cookie sheets (preferably light colored, aluminum) by coating lightly with shortening (using a paper towel). Then sprinkle lightly with flour, tilt cookie sheet and tap ends to allow flour to spread evenly all over.
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Dissolve baking ammonia in hot water. May need to use a spoon or your fingers to make sure there are no lumps.
  4. Add oil, sour cream, peppermint oil and baking ammonia to egg mixture, beating each in well.
  5. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients, stirring with wooden spoon or using a hook attachment on your large mixer.
  6. Cover and let stand in fridge overnight.
  7. Divide dough into four parts to roll out. Roll out to ¼ - 1/3” thickness, using a light dusting of flour on rolling surface as well as on top of dough.
  8. Cut with small round cookie cutter or small tomato paste tin.
  9. Bake at 400 F a tad above centre of oven for 7 minutes if doing toonie size cookies or 10 minutes if doing tomato paste can size ( test underside of cookie  - until golden from underneath.)
  10. Remove onto wire cooling racks. Re-use cooled baking sheet without washing. You may scrape up the flour with a plastic scraper and dust with flour again, but you don’t
    have to keep greasing it up for the rest of the batch. One batch makes 12 - 14 dozen large cookies, depending on size. (half recipe makes 12 dozen toonie cookies)
If desired, make a thin icing with confectioners sugar and whipping cream, mixing to a consistency that easily spreads on cookies.

34 comments:

  1. Those cookies look like they would melt in your mouth! So when is this sale??

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  2. These cookies bring back memories..they look exactly like the ones my Mom made.
    I'm sure they go like 'hotcakes' at the MCC sale:)

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  3. These could be my mom's peppermint cookies as well. I can almost smell them!

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  4. Good to know .. .we'll look closely to find the ones that look just like that.
    I don't need a scratch and sniff button . .once you've smelled them baking. . it's baked into the memory bank as well.

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  5. This sounds so intriguing...will have to go in search of the special ingredient. I have some HUGE peppermint lovers in the family.

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  6. Hey...very familiar looking recipe! I can truly smell these baking just by looking at those pics. So...when and where is this MCC sale?

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  7. Yum!! I searched last year for the baking ammonia...since Funks is closed, Safeway has tried to pick up some of the "specialty" things they used to carry. So I was told you can get it in the Pharmacy at Safeway =)

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  8. I'm so excited about this recipe, I've wanted it for so long. Yummmmmm.

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  9. Oh, these remind me so much of my grandma (Betty Neufeld). She always included a bunch of these in the ice cream buckets full of Christmas cookies that she'd send us home with.
    -TL

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  10. I had to fly back to Winnipeg for some baking ammonia - they looked at me like I was crazy in London, Ontario! (Brought back some farmer sausage too.)

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  11. oh! my grandma neufeld used to make these! as soon as i saw the pictures i could taste and smell them in my mind and started to get teary eyed! what i wouldn't give to be able to attend the MCC sale and sample your mom's!

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  12. I know them as 'Ammonia Cookies' and the 'smell' memory immediately brings to mind my grandmother's kitchen even though it was not a cookie I ever developed a taste for.
    Your Mom looks beautiful in her kitchen...as do her cookies!

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  13. Oh yummy...I can just taste them! I love seeing Oma on the blog! =)

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  14. These are one of my kid's favorite memory/cookie that my mom baked. But do you think mine come out the same? No way!! Mine do not rise, so are a bit crispy. I usually get my baking ammonia and pep oil at Funk's in Clearbrook when we go there! :) Friends here cannot believe I would use ammonia in a cookie!! Hard to explain.

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  15. Just a question, how much peppermint extract do I use for this recipe, if I don't have peppermint OIL!?

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  16. You can also get the baking amonia at the Windmeal Deli in the strip mall where Value Village is (South Fraser Way and Clearbrook Rd.

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  17. Hi Connie, I can't guarantee that extract will give the same results as oil, because I have read that extract can evaporate with baking. I have checked this out on line and it sounds like you could try a ratio of 1-4. (So, 1 1/3 tsp extract)Maybe this is for making candy, but you could try it.

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  18. Ok, thank You Anneliese, I'll try that, since I bought the extract already and don't know where to buy the Oil. Maybe You can tell me?!

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    Replies
    1. I bought peppermint oil at Michael's, the craft store. They have a fun baking/cooking section. They didn't have baking ammonia though.

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  19. You can get peppermint oil at the health food (vitamin) store. Although cutomers do use it in baking, the retail store agent may advise you to contact the distributer, since they cannot advertise it as such.

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  20. Thank you for this recipe! I found p. oil at the bulk food store, 3.7 ml. I found using 1/2 tsp oil for half the recipe was very nice. I love the peppermint flavor. I also added a couple drops to the icing sugar/cream glaze. I used whipping cream instead of sour cream. Marian

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  21. YEAH!!!!

    i was looking for peppermint cookies recipe...there are plenty of them online BUT.... i was searching for a Mennonite recipe.

    i did find a site though that said you cooking ammonia was before the discovery of baking soda...so you could substitute b.soda BUT you would need to use TWICE the amount of b soda as the ammonia amount the recipe calls for.

    somehow i bet the taste just wouldn't be the same though... so off to the drug store to find baking ammonia...

    thanks bundles and bushels!!!
    xo
    eva

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  22. If you have a Nutter's Bulk Food Store nearby, they carry Baking Ammonia.

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  23. I get my ammonia from Nutters which is a health and bulk food store.

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  24. I am making these right now and have questions? The ammonia is "very" strong ...is this normal?

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  25. To the 5 Ws': Yes.. the aroma is strong, but disappears and the pepperming flavor takes over. I've never liked it, but for some it brings back memories of Oma's kitchen etc. Using the ammonia should make the cookies quite light .. but you could try using less baking ammonia and a tad more baking powder. Hope they turned out nice for you.

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  26. I have looked forever for this recipe. When I found your site, I was absolutely thrilled! I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and had to special order baking ammonia from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, just so I could make your Peppermint Cookies. I too, remember these cookies as a little girl, and I must tell you, they turned out wonderful! Everyone loves them! Going to make more soon, thank you again, keep up the awesome work girls!

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  27. L. Dyck, if you're reading this, come to Waterloo for your pepperment oil and baking ammonia. We have a bulk food/speciality baking store here - Ayres nut and baking - and I fully recommend trying out the little baking supply stores. They tend to carry baking ammonia and essential oils, or at the very least will know who does.

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  28. King Arthur Flour is a good source for specialty baking items:

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bakers-ammonia-ammonium-carbonate-27-oz

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/peppermint-oil-1-oz

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  29. Perfect peppermint ammonia cookies. Oma has been gone for almost 20 years but just making these makes it feel like she's here for her Great Grandkids this Christmas.
    In the U.S. baking ammonia is available from amazon.com.

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  30. First time I wanted to make these, I got the recipe from my grandmother....and that was the easy part!! Finding baking ammonia was tough...until I went into one of our local deli's operated by a Swiss couple. While waiting for my order to be filled, we started talking about recipes etc from our childhoods and I mentioned I needed to find baking ammonia to make my grandmothers peppermint cookies. His eyes lit right up, came around the counter, took my hand and led me to a shelf of odds and ends....lo and behold!! baking ammonia!!! except it was called Horn Salt....but was the same thing. I promised to bring him some and when I did, we enjoyed cookies and tea in the back area. He cried....hadn't had these since he had left Switzerland when he was a young boy....and was at this time in his mid-60's.

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  31. Baking ammonia can also be found in some deli's .... sold as Horn Salt.

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    Replies
    1. That reminds me ... my mom cals it Hirschen Salz.

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  32. I found a really good quality one on Amazon. I made these with my daughter last year and we'll be doing it again, reminded me of Oma's at Christmas a long time ago. We'll see if the link works.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ammonium-Carbonate-Bakers-Ammonia-2-7/dp/B005GLXRC6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382967206&sr=8-1&keywords=baking+ammonia

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