I just looked up Aachener Printen.
That? ...yeah, that's him.
You and I will have to agree to disagree. I have trauma from that damn cookie. weeks of effort in order to make a cookie you can't even trade with your friends. And yes, we ground our own spice, by hand, with one of these:
But no, we didn't "candy our own orange peel" because that might render something actually good. We used candied citron, which is terrible.
Lebkuchengewurz an essential ingredient for a variety of German baked goods during the Christmas season, most notably Lebkuchen and Pfeffernüsse.
Pfeffernusse? Yeah, had to make that crap too. Because yeah - once you've ground spices by hand for four hours you're going to put that shit in everything
It's funny. My wife's family is fond of their German heritage yet the only christmas cookie they make is a white-trash sugar cookie frosted to infinity using Crisco icing. I on the other hand grew up forced to make Lebkuchen, Pfeffernusse, these horrible things and these wretched things in a house where my mother expressed her hatred of the Germans at every available opportunity.
I will freely admit none of this is the cookies' fault. But you will not convince me that Aachener Printen can ever be baked in an edible fashion.
The standing joke is that Aachener printen are so hard that the bakers have a standing contract with the city’s dentists! Printen are characteristically hard because they’re a very low-moisture cookie: They contain no eggs, fat, milk, virtually no water, and contain three types of sugar which caramelize during baking.
...unless you underbake the shit out of it. Then they just get rock-hard in New Mexico's 6% winter humidity over the course of a week or so.
We made one cookie worth eating. No, that's not true. I made one cookie worth eating, having desperately started rooting through the card box at the age of 8 to find anything that wasn't terrible. My mother threw the recipe away, of course, so I basically came up with my own. Nobody here eats them either because the inlaws are not fond of bourbon.
There was another recipe given to us by a friend of a friend. I had them once, they were spectacular. Then I made them a couple times, they were spectacular. Then I asked for the recipe and was told that since it contained chocolate, it was "burned" while I was at college (christmas was a particularly traumatic time growing up). I poked around every now and then trying to find it, and then last year my wife stumbled across them. I teared up when I had them. They are now "lost cookies" in the recipe book.