1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 egg, separated white from yolk
1 t almond extract
2 c flour
1/2 c sliced almonds
1 T sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and almond extract. Then add flour and stir until just combined.
Turn dough into ungreased 15X10X1 inch pan (jelly roll pan.) Using your fingers spread the dough until it evenly covers the entire pan.
In a small bowl whisk egg white until it is frothy. Brush egg white over dough and then sprinkle the almonds on top. Finish by sprinkling the cinnamon sugar over the dough.
Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool and then cut into pieces. Traditionally these cookies are served in diamond shapes so cut into diagonal strips that criss-cross the pan. Or, you know, squares taste the same.
Notes: The most time consuming part of this recipe is pushing the dough into the pan. When you first start to do so you will swear that I am crazy and it will never be enough to cover the pan. But I'm not and it does.
My mother's best friend was German (still is, last I heard from her) and she used to make these cookies at Christmastime. For the first thirty seven years of my life I only considered eating these in December. But I have recently realized that life is too short to relegate things that taste good to tiny windows of time and my new plan is to start drinking at breakfast. Oh, and to make Jan Hagels whenever I feel like it.
Last week I was standing in the grocery store about to buy a package of Oreos when I decided that I should bake more often. What could be more comforting and loving than a homemade cookie in one's lunchbox, I reasoned. So I virtuously returned the Oreos to the shelf and I picked up a big bag of chocolate chips and a small ditto of sliced almonds on my way out. Then, as I do, I forgot about it until about nine o'clock on Sunday night. Jan Hagels come together very quickly and they bake quickly so it wasn't THAT much of a hassle but I still felt like I had been particularly selfless when I told Patrick on Monday morning that I had made cookies for his lunch.
"Great!" he said. "Chocolate chip?"
"No! Jan Hagels!"
So he looked at them and made a face and said, "oh. I don't like almonds" and then Steve said, "oh no not those ALMOND cookies again" because Steve doesn't like almonds either (I think he had a bad marzipan experience as a child.) The end result is that I got six dozen cookies all to myself and Patrick took one of those vile little shelf stable puddings we had left over from his tonsil surgery.
There is no moral to this story but if you are not weird and you like the delicious taste of a well-sugared almond then you will no doubt enjoy this recipe.
PS Someone requested printable versions of the recipes and I think this is an excellent idea and I am working on implementing it. So... I'm trying.
PPS I froze some of the cookies after I baked them because... well I could eat 6 dozen Jan Hagels but should I? I defrosted them later and they were pretty good.