Christmas is an important holiday for my family and Christmas Eve is also special. This holiday was celebrated by many people in Berlin (Kitchener) in 1906 too. Some families would go to religious services this evening. Some people would be feasting tonight. My family saves the feasting for tomorrow but we do have some Christmas Eve traditions. I struggled with what to make today that would blend the 1906 world with mine in 2012. I finally decided to make cookies since it is customary to leave milk and cookies out for Santa to enjoy on his long journey round the world. My mother says Mrs. Claus like chocolate so I am making Mrs. J. Lang’s Cocoa Sticks from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
Way back in March I made another recipe for Cocoa Sticks that was extremely detailed. Mrs. J. Lang’s recipe is the complete opposite. It simply lists the ingredients. I creamed the butter and sugar and then added the egg. I wasn’t able to get medium eggs in my old home town grocery store so this was a large egg. Next I added the milk and vanilla. I triple checked the amount of vanilla as it seems a large amount. I stirred in the cocoa powder and finally the flour and baking powder. I used all the flour and still added more. The mixture was still quite soft. I tried putting it in a cold room (the fridge is full) but it was still impossible to roll. I added more flour and finally after a very sticky attempt at rolling and cutting into sticks, I decided to spread the batter on a cookie sheet and bake it that way. Then when it was done I could cut it to shape. I baked the mess for 7 minutes at 350 degrees until it was firm. I cut sticks while it was still warm. I sampled several and shared some more with a few tasters before putting out a plate of Cocoa Sticks and a glass of milk for Santa near the fireplace.
Mrs. J. Lang must have liked chocolate as much as I do since I recently made her chocolate almonds.
I like these cookies despite the difficulties I experienced during their production. My tasters also liked them. Basically they are flat brownies cut into narrow strips. I think next time I’ll go straight to pouring the batter onto a cookie sheet and forget about adding extra flour or attempting to roll them. I suspect they would be even more tender. Hopefully, Santa will tuck a few away to take back to Mrs. Claus as they are the perfect cookie for chocolate lovers.
Mrs. J. Lang
4 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon lard, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 5 teaspoons cocoa, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sifted pastry flour.