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by on December 18, 2008 · 6 comments

Today I learned the truth about Baker’s Ammonia/Hartshorn. It’s no longer made with dried up antlers or sheep urine, but rather made in a lab. Bummer.

But hey, it’s still an interesting leavening. The ammonia burns off and you get extra crisp cookies with no baking powder/baking soda aftertaste – something that really annoys a few readers who have emailed in their thoughts on leaveners. Some people can really taste baking soda. I only taste it when I use too much. As for baking powder, that I can taste and I try to stick with recipes that use less than a teaspoon.

But baker’s ammonia, despite the ammonia smell it gives off under heat, has a cleaner flavor. You can order it from a few sources on-line including King Arthur. King Arthur also has some recipes, but you can also find them through Google. Look for a recipe called “Swedish Dream Cookies”. Those are my favorite cookies to make with antlers….I mean baker’s ammonia .

It was more fun when I thought it was actual antlers.

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Published on December 18, 2008

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy December 18, 2008 at 9:46 am

I bought some when KAF gave free shipping last week! It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m excited!

Pearl December 18, 2008 at 9:49 am

oh wow – i never even knew people could taste baking soda/powder. now i’m so tempted to steal a taste of the powder/soda i have to see if i can discern it in the next batch of cookies. but then ill probably ruin it for myself and swear i can taste it everywhere, even when there is none involved :)

have a great thursday!

VeggieGirl December 18, 2008 at 11:25 am


Karen December 18, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Many years ago, I worked in a bakery. The bakery primarily made sourdough breads, but also made a few Italian cookies. We used ammonia in the biscotti and they were fantastic. But the smell of the ammonia does wake you up!

Emily December 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I’m like you; I can taste baking powder but not baking soda.

The cookies have been looking really great lately.

clumbsycookie December 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm

The original natural starters to make Panetonne were originally made with cow or sheeps poop. I actually have one sleaping in my pantry (a starter not a cow or sheep) ;)

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