Every year at Christmas I try to add at least one new recipe to my repertoire. Back when I was still working, I remember my boss, Kent, bringing in a tin of cookies that were to die for. He called them Drumkickers (or Drumkekar, in German) and he said it was his German grandmother's recipe, which he kindly shared.
And they were good. Think of a combination of vanilla and brown sugar (which isn't an ingredient!). It was like a blondie cookie, if that makes sense, sweet and profoundly addictive.
When I mentioned making them, none of my German readers were familiar with the recipe but I did have a couple of requests for it (and you'll find it below).
But I was stumped. If Kent's German Grandmother called them Drumkekars (the "Drumkickers" moniker came from his boys), surely it must be a German recipe. So, I tried tracking and googling, finally hitting pay dirt of a sort with the terms Vanilla Cookie.
Well, according to all I could find, it was a Swedish recipe called Brunscrackers and in fact, I found pretty much the identical recipe right here. (There are other similar versions online) The quantity is different from the recipe below, as is the baking temperature, but the same ingredients more or less. My total yield was about six dozen but could be more or less depending on how wide you cut them. Or tons and tons if you made them the size of a Wheat Thin.
But to be honest, I liked Kent's instructions better. They had great character (like Kent), as you shall see, and that's why those are what''s below!
A couple of things about this recipe. It calls for vanilla powder and vanilla sugar. I'm told you can find it at World Market and I would guess at specialized food stores or possibly King Arthur. But I didn't have it. So I used a little more vanilla. It tasted fine to me.
And Kent's didn't call for icing but I think an icing glaze always looks pretty, especially at the holidays so mine is basically thinned out powdered sugar, milk, butter and vanilla to a "pouring" level.
My recipe also calls for a 325 temperature (vs. 350).
Cream 1 c. butter (softened)
(Kent's Note: I only use real butter, not margarine or Crisco. They don't turn out as well if you don't use real butter. And besides -- you're supposed to use real butter! Generation after generation of plump German Fraus can't be wrong.)
1 c. vanilla sugar (or regular if you can't find)
2 T. Lyle's Golden Syrup (OK, maybe 3 T if you like really sweet)
2 c. flour
1 t. soda
3 T. vanilla powder (you can substitute an equal amount of vanilla)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. I'd recommend parchment paper. Roll dough into a four "logs" that are about one in in diameter or square and about 12 inches long, give or take. They will flatten out, so give them room on a cookie sheet (see photo below to see how it flattens.) It works to do three lengthwise and one across the width of the pan. Bake 20-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 3-5 minutes on cookie sheet. Cut baked logs into strips while on cookie sheet. You could also use a deep cookie cutter but there is likely to be spoilage.
(Since I glaze them, I drizzle the glaze after they've cooled but still on the cookie sheet).
The rest of Kent's Instructions:
Dough is thick compared to cookies like chocolate chip and log size approximate.
I sift the flour but I don't know that this recipe really benefits from it.
Liberal applications of Schnapps (brandy, port or riesling may be substituted) for the chef during the baking seems to help the results, I find. Or perhaps just make the results easier to accept. It easily makes a double batch or two full cookie sheets.
Edited Note: Blogger Commenter Lisbeth wrote the her mother makes these cookies regularly and calls them
'sirapskakor', that is Syrup cookies. They are cut like in the Swedish
recipe you linked to.
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