Aachener Printen are a variety of Lebkuchen that originate from Aachen and are protected by the European Union PDO scheme, Protected Designation of Origin. In other words, like Stilton, Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, and Somerset Cider Brandy, Aachener Printen can only be labelled as such if they come from Aachen or the surrounding region. In yet more European domination news the recipes for Aachen Printener use beet sugar and syrup instead of cane sugar and honey, thanks to Napoleon’s Continental Blockade, the continent wide embargo on British trade imposed by The Little Corporal, and the subsequent blockade of European trade and ports by the Royal Navy.
500 grams dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
10 grams baking soda
1 tablespoon rum
150 grams rock candy
100 grams sugar
60 grams candied orange peel
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons aniseed, ground
2 teaspoons coriander, ground
1 pinch cloves, ground
600 grams flour
Some dark syrup and water
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together syrup and water until hot. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Dissolve the baking soda in the rum. Break the rock candy into very small pieces. Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and knead until dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and let dough rest for 5 days in a cool place. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease baking sheets. On a lightly floured board, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick and cut out 1-inch by 2-inch rectangles. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 15 minutes. Allow to cool for one minute on baking sheet and then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Glaze the cookies with a mixture of one part syrup to one part water. When dry, store in tins at room temperature.
by Mike Dash
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