Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jan Hagel

Jan Hagel are Dutch bar cookies. According to the website the name means "Johnny Hail" or an unruly mob. The recipe on globalcookies is far more complicated than the recipe in the cookbook, which is actually simplicity itself. Globalcookies says you need something called "rock sugar," which you then wrap in a towel and beat with a mallet. The website explains that the little grains of sugar are thought to resemble hail. None of that needed here.
These are excellent cookies. Honestly, you can't go wrong with these ingredients. The main ingredients are butter and sugar, with half a cup of almonds on top. They are supposed to be thin, but we packed ours into a roasting pan, much smaller than the dimensions of the pan given in the cook book, so our yield was smaller.
We made them on Thursday evening after I was picked up at school after tutoring. I was disappointed with my tutees, since I hadn't met with them in two weeks, and they didn't know their Dolch words.
Dolch words are also known as high frequency words. Something like 50 percent of all the words in everything we read are Dolch words. So, you've got to learn how to read them, and Elena and Miguel couldn't. I solved the problem by having the kids dictate a story using the Dolch words. Miguel, the only boy in the group, went along with the choice of topic, (a prince and princess dog) as long as the story contained a dragon. I hoped that since they had written the story themselves, (or dictated it) they would be willing to read it over and over with their families so eventually, they would learn the Dolch words.
It was good to talk to a reasonable adult, and I was perfectly ready to bake again. I did have to run off to Safeway , which was virtually empty at 6:30 pm, which is witching hour for the commuters at Whole Foods who throng in in their hundreds, buy the prepared food and throng out again. You'd think somebody at Safeway would keep an eye out for the competition. I bought almonds, internally commiserating with the clerk, who is also the guy behind the counter at the deli, and went off to make the cookies.
Aside from making them in a too small bowl, so when I pulled the beaters out of the dough to clean them off, I sprayed dough all over my hand and the toaster and the wall, they were ready quickly, and were delicious. Go for it. Gobalcookies says they are a holiday cookie, so there's your excuse.

Jan Hagel

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
one egg separated
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup chopped, blanched almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk very well.
3. Sift together the flour and cinnamon and stir into the creamed mixture. Spread in a greased 10-by-15 inch jellyroll pan.
4. Beat the water and egg white together lightly. Brush over the top of the cake ans sprinkle with the almonds. Bake twenty to twenty five minutes or until golden brown. (Mine took a little longer.) Cut into squares or bars while hot. Makes three to four dozen.

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