Freezer Marinara
Shredded Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

Jan Hagels


Jan Hagels

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.

Printable version here

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.


Looks yummy. I'll be giving these a try.

Do you have any apple-related recipes, by chance? I really don't as I'm not much of a baker. But I wonder if you have any ideas for the minimally talented? A tart? I dunno...the family loves apples and I aim to please!

My kids do that all the freaking time. Look, I say, I baked for you because I love you so and aren't you glad I did? Oh, they say, unimpressed, why do you always cut the brownies so small?

My favorite baking book tells me to cut brownies and bar cookies into 2-inch squares most of the time. In this era of thousand-calorie "snacks," they do look very small. I keep telling the kids that my brownies are normal-sized and the cafe brownies are suffering from gigantism aggravated by elephantiasis, but they're not convinced.

This sort of thing happens to me all the time - so much so that I no longer tell people what I'm making :)

Looks delicious! I plan on trying these out soon.

What do you do with the egg yolk? Or is it the egg white that you "beat until frothy" and then let the yolk slide down the drain?

Oops...sorry...just re-read the recipe *slaps head*

Hey Sheilah,
Explain! I'm still lost on the egg part!

Here's a suggestiong for a printable recipe link:
Add a PDF file link to a label "Printer version". I'm pretty sure Typepad will let you do this. However, as I am new to Typepad, please don't think I'll accept accountability if this goes horribly wrong.

As always, love your blogs. You've inspired me to write my own about eating only Raw Food.

Sounds delicious. Baking is the one thing I do well in the kitchen, so I might actually have success with this recipe. Did you try sharing it with Caroline and Edward?

These kind of look like a snicker doodle with almonds. That's a cookie I can get behind! Definitely will be trying these.

Apples....I just make baked apples.

Take six apples and peel, core, and slice (or just core and slice if you're lazy like me).
Put them in a Corelle baking dish (I'm sure brand of dish does not matter but Correlle has those nice covered dishes and you'll need the cover for this).
Add cinnamon, allspice, 2T cornstarch or flour, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/2 cup sugar.
Basically, apple pie filling.
Cover with the baking dish's lid and bake at 350 until juicy and gooey (45 minutes, perhaps).

Then, serve over vanilla bean ice cream. So, so good. And better than pie since I don't trust crust.

What is it with kids and nuts? My youngest won't eat anything with visible nuts so when I make banana nut bread I grind them up to almost invisible even thought I prefer sizable chunks of walnuts myself. Same with brownies, I always make half the pan nutless. I agree on baking whatever and whenever you feel like it. The only time I drink at breakfast is the Christmas champagne brunch, or maybe on vacation with my DH's side of the family, who start really early, but it's the beach, so who cares.

I LOVE Jan Hagels! I will argue that they are actually Dutch in origin, not German, but I could be wrong. The key to delicious Jan Hagels is to not overbake them. Yum.

Also, I think there might be a wee typo in the third paragraph: I think you want to beat the egg whites until frothy, as the yolk has already been mixed in.

To the reader requesting apple recipes, I have a delicious sour cream apple pie I plan on making soon and writing up over at my food blog, if you're interested.

Thanks Jana! Typo corrected.

And I think you are right, they are Dutch. But the friend was German. Hmmmm. I guess now that I think about it the nationality of the person who gave me the recipe is rather irrelevant, isn't it?

Use Google docs. Easy, peasy.

And I think they look great.

Holy Crap!

When Drew was a wee mite of a boy I went through all the cookbooks I had inherited from my Mom, and one had a very similar recipe (using pecans though, but thought any nut would do). It looked easy and cheap, both were a requirement then, so I left the family to the netflix selection du jour, and made these. And we ate the whole damn thing that night.

I didn't get around to baking again any time soon, and then couldn't remember where in the hell I'd found them. The Settlement cookbook? The spices cookbook? NYT? LAT?

I googled and experimented and recollected but never could get them right.

G-d bless you. You've made my decade.

BTW, in my experimenting, I've found wrapping and resting the dough for 10 minutes in the fridge, rolling the dough between 2 layers of plastic wrap, refrigerating until firm, and then pulling off one side, replacing it, taking off the other, then flopping it upside down on the baking sheet saves much time, aggravation and stickiness. It's a butter-rich dough, so it becomes nice and firm when chilled. Then again my recipe called for a too big pan to begin with, and said it wouldn't fit. It came out slightly more freeform.

To SarcastiCarrie: When you add those ingredients to the apples, is it that amount to each apple, or just into the baking dish? Sorry if this is a silly question.

Julia- the cookies sound yummy. I am the only one in my family who is not anti-almond, sadly!

Hey there--sounds and looks really yummy. I do have a question about the final product: are the cookies crisp and flaky/crumbly (like shortbread) or kind of soft and chewy (like snickerdoodles)? Or cakey? I like the latter two but don't like shortbread, so just trying to scope it out.

Firm but chewy. Unless you overbake them. But that's pretty much true of anything, I guess.

Down with the anti-almond contingent! Thank you for the recipe and yes, cookies are for year round. Singing Xmas carols however (which I love to do) is limited in our household to the months of November and December.

I can't wait to try this recipe! I have a question, though:

Does the recipe truly necessitate butter, or does margarine make an acceptable substitution?

I'm sure that it is at least partly a matter of taste. To my tastebuds, many cookies made with margarine are just fine, but a cookie like spritz is not. This recipe looks enough like spritz to make me wonder...

Andie: NOOOOOOO! Please, please don't make these with margarine. I think that, like spritz and shortbread, this is a butter-must cookie.

Oh so disappointed when I put these together last weekend with my four year old, tossed them in the oven, set the timer and flopped on my bed to read the end of Eclipse (Twilight series).

They smelled delicious baking. My 20 month old awoke and we played on my bed...delicious smell kinda wrong now....
Oh my timer buzzer is no longer. The cookies baked for a full 45 minutes. Bummer.

I still ate most of the pan.

I just made these, because when do you need xmas cookies more than in late February? They were amazing. I just used a standard 13x9 or whatever those are baking pan. And maybe twice as much almond extract. FOR YUM! I tried to give as many away to as many people as possible but still ate about half. Thank you so much. Now I won't have to buy overpriced kringle slices every week to satisfy my almond pastry obsession.

A Fan.

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