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Aachen is beautiful this time of the year. The city is surrounded in a magic festive glow and it is not difficult at all to quickly catch the Christmas spirit. People smile while meeting in the street, families spend time together buying gifts and friends gather together cosily snugged in trendy cafes. Children gaze at the Christmas decorations full with wonder while choir singers sing Christmas carols in the cathedral market place.
Christmas is all around, but most so in the famous Printen coffee bar.
I have always dreamed of making at home the Aachen Printen Christmas cookies, and this Christmas the moment just feels right to give this magic recipe a go.
The flavours are divine, cinnamon, rum, orange peel, aniseed, coriander… Transformed in a perfect crispy cookie bite with a melting softness in the middle.
The recipe is indeed easy to follow. But as in every magic fairy tail even here there is a hidden spell to make this delicious enchantment work. A key ingredient, without which these beautiful cookies will turn out rock hard dry – the potash*. It is potassium carbonate, a chemical leavening which helps baked goods stay moist. It tastes really bad by itself, but when it’s baked into cookies the taste goes away. It is easily obtained in little packets in any German store, but should it be unavailable it could be substituted by baking soda.