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Hirschhorn Salz Bakers Ammonia, or Ammonium Carbonate

If you look through your mother or grandmothers old baking recipes as we did you may find ingredients like, hartshorn, hirschhorn salz, ammonium carbonate, or baker's ammonia.

 Baker's ammonia is still used as a leavening of choice for certain recipes because of it's ability to make cookies crisper. The chemistry is very interesting. It creates gas when mixed with liquid ingredients but the baker's ammonia removes some of the moisture leaving a dryer crisper product. It is used in cookies, cream puffs and biscotti to help acheive this effect.

Order hartshorn here

35 grams or 1.25 oz.

Hartshorn is a salt,
Originally made from the ground antlers of reindeer, this is an ancestor of modern baking powder. 

Northern Europeans still use it because it makes their springerle and gingerbread cookies very light and crisp. 

Unfortunately, it can impart an unpleasant ammonia flavor, so it's best used in cookies and pastries that are small enough to allow the ammonia odor to dissipate while baking. 

Here are some recipes that use Hartshorn  

Dream Cookie
Delicate, light cookies that melt in your mouth
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Vanilla Sugar
1 tsp. Bakers' Ammonia 1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
48 almond halves, blanched or unblanched

Preheat oven to 275 F. Prepare baking sheet(s) by greasing or by lining with Kitchen Parchment (#64858). Thoroughly combine the flour, Vanilla Sugar and Bakers' Ammonia. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add the dry ingredients. Blend well. Form the dough into 48 small balls. Press down lightly on prepared baking sheet. Press an almond half on top of each. Be sure to keep cookies small. Yield: 4 dozen 2" cookies.
German Cookies or Princess Gems
Crackle topped cookies with golden coconut accents.
1 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
2 tsp. Bakers' Ammonia
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325 F. Cream butter and margarine. Add the Bakers' Ammonia and sugar; cream well. Add flour, a little at a time, mixing thoroughly. Fold in coconut. Form into 3/4" balls and place 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Yield: Approximately 101/2 dozen 3/4" cookies.


Lemon Sweet Crackers
Fragile, light, tender lemon cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. Bakers' Ammonia
1/2 cup shortening 1 cup sugar
1 egg white
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 tsp. lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare baking sheet(s) by greasing or by lining with Kitchen Parchment (#64858). Thoroughly combine the flour, salt and Bakers' Ammonia. Set aside. Cream shortening and sugar well. Add egg white and beat until light. Add flour mixture to shortening mixture alternately with milk. Add lemon extract. Roll out and cut into 3" squares. Bake about 8 minutes. Yield: 6 dozen thin cookies.

Sweet and delicious
2 cups butter
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. Bakers' Ammonia
1 cup finely ground almonds

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Combine flour, Bakers' Ammonia and ground almonds. Blend the two mixtures together well. Form into small balls (about 3/4") and freeze overnight.
Preheat oven to 300 F. Place frozen balls of dough on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a delicate brown on bottom. Yield: About 20 dozen tiny cookies.

Cream Puffs
Tender and tasty puffy shells
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup shortening or butter or margarine
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. Bakers' Ammonia

Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare baking sheet(s) by greasing and flouring or by lining with Kitchen Parchment (#64858). Place water and shortening (or butter or margarine) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the flour and salt all at once and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Blend in the milk well. Remove pan from stove burner and stir in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well until completely blended. Mix in the Bakers' Ammonia well. Drop on cookie sheets about 3 to 4 inches apart. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling. Yield: 10 to 12 shells.

Order hartshorn here


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Last updated November 1, 2012