Siebenburgische Platzchen (Spiced Cookies)
This recipe comes from the German speaking peoples of Transylvania and is a fantastic holiday treat. My granny (Oma) used to send boxes of them to all her children and grandchildren every year, no matter where we were in the world.
4 oz butter
1 lb plain flour
2 oz of Treacle
8 oz brown or muscavado sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 oz lard
1 large egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Thoroughly cream together the butter, lard, and muscavado sugar and blend in the egg and treacle. Oma made us do this with wooden spoons, but the food processor is quicker.
Next, sift together the flour and all remaining ingredients. If you want to adjust the cinnamon, ginger and allspice ratio to suit your own taste buds go ahead. Stir this mix into the creamed butter mixture to form a dough.
Shape the platzchen dough into about 50 slightly flattened balls. Place the balls two inches apart on well greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake for 15 minutes.
The balls will spread to form lovely cookies that spell of winter holidays past.
Cool on racks and then store in airtight containers. These particular platzchen come from Hermannstadt (modern Sibiu in Romania), and in other towns they were made slightly differently. Each locality had their own way of baking their Christmas delicacies.
If you like these, you will love Oma’s pfeffernusse too.