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Friday, February 24, 2017

"Drumkickers" -- A Recipe Request

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). 

Kent's Drumkickers

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)

Beat vigorously

Add:
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.

20 comments:

La Table De Nana said...

I was quite taken with them too on your post:)

you can easily make your own vanilla sugar..there are many commercial ones..Dr Oetker..Italin ones in Italian shops..but to make all you need is a vanilla pod..split it..and stick it in a jar of sugar..there you have it:)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/vanilla-sugar-recipe

It must be morning brain..but I don't get the 1 inch circle?could it be 12?

Eilis said...

These look scrumptious! My husband's family came from Germany, and he loves these kinds of treats. I will have to make them for him.

Lynne said...

Fun to try new recipes . . .
And when they taste wonderful . .
Why not . . .
These would cause Mister Irish a bit of a drool . . . loves "sugary". . .
(Extra "kick" with them a thought too . . .)

Valerie-Jael said...

These look great, I don't know any German recipes with that name, but what's in a name? I will give them a try and let you know! Hugs, Valerie

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Kent's notes are the highlight of this recipe! What a fun and hilarious guy!!

Those look delicious and the flavor profile is right up my alley!!!

bellarum said...

These sound delicious. You know how I love a recipe. I like the idea of a little drizzle over them, too.
Loved Ken's notes. That's how some stories get passed down through families and friends - little notes on recipes.

Danielle L Zecher said...

They look delicious! I don't normally make cookies, but I may have to give these a try.

I love his notes about using real butter! :-)

shoreacres said...

Brunscracker translates as "brown cracker," and yes -- my Swedish grandmother always made these. But she didn't make them in logs. They were cut square -- like little crackers. I suspect the change in shape brought the change in name. As logs, they do look like drumsticks.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest jeanie!!!!!!!!

OH, our grandmothers, mothers, aunties....they had the best recipes because REAL Ingredients were used. I agree with Kent that real butter is a must. Goodness, these look great!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning Jeanie!
Oh how enjoyed this tale of the recipe and how you sleuthed your way around into finding it's origins. It sounds marvelous and looks fantastic!
A beautiful and tasty treat to serve at a morning coffee too.
Enjoy your day my talented friend!
Jemma

Sandra Cox said...

Those look luscious.
Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend:)

Red Rose Alley said...

The Drumkickers look soooo good, Jeanie. Never heard of them before. My children are part German on their father's side. And Jess visited Germany years ago, and had a wonderful time. So, I'm wondering, is this a German or Swedish recipe, did you ever find out? I love how you are so into your ancestry and follow up on it.

~Sheri

Marilyn Miller said...

I have not heard of this cookie either. They look sort of like biscotti.

Victoria Zigler said...

Regardless of the origin of the recipe, the cookies sound tasty!

Jenny Woolf said...

They look and sound gorgeous! I'm considering it a success story on my part that I'm automatically thinking "I mustn't eat those." I've been trying hard to eat more healthily and I must be succeeding ! :)

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

I love the name Drumkickers- it's a keeper for me!
Jeanie, I was sure I left a comment here - but I can't see it - maybe I was tired and forgot to press the button!
Have a fun week🤸🏼‍♂️
Shane x

Roz . Russell said...

Wow they look scrumptious and I will have to try them as soon as our life settles down to normal, whatever that is, of course I am diabetic and shouldnt eat such things but I push the boundaries some times

thepaintedapron.com said...

Pinning! These sound wonderful Jeanie, and I don't believe in anything except real unsalted butter! Thanks Jeanie!

Lisbeth Ekelof said...

They are great. My mother makes them regularly and I love them. I think she calls them 'sirapskakor', that is Syrup cookies. They are cut like in the Swedish recipe you linked to. What a good idea to try new recipies from time to time. Yummie!

marcia said...

Sounds delicious. The way they're cut reminds me of biscotti which I've been wanting to make forever.
Great picture of you, Jeanie. Your smile is contagious. :)
xo

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