So Many Cookies, So Little Time


Christmas cookies!!!! My country cousin Mark bakes with ammonia, which you have to get from a druggist. Anyone ever baked with ammonia? Sounds like living dangerously to city girl me……………. I mean, he’s wearing surgical gloves! What does that tell you?!!

Ammonia Cookies

1 cup shortening, 3 cups sugar, 1 pint sweet milk, 4 teaspoons ammonia (dissolved in milk), 3 eggs, 2 drams lemon oil (what the hell is a dram?), 10-12 cups flour.

Cream shortening and sugar. Add beaten eggs and remaining ingredients, stirring well with each addition. Roll out and cut cookies. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees till brown on bottom of cookies.

If you make these and live, let me know.


  1. Michelle says:

    Okay, these sound a bit scary to me…:eek:

  2. Teresa says:

    That just doesn’t sound right!:shock::shocked::yuck:

  3. Jennifer says:

    :shocked: That is so scary. I’ve never heard of that before. You clean with ammonia. You’re making this up right? 😯

  4. Suzanne says:

    I’m not!! I swear! I saw it. It comes in a pharmacy bottle. You have to get it from a druggist. It’s white and powdery. And it smells AWFUL!!!!

  5. Joely says:

    Egads, looking for some eye of newt and frog eyes… Ooops, wrong holiday! The family time looks fun, though.

  6. Toni Anderson says:

    A dram is a wee bit more than a nip 😉

    Ammonia?? Good Lord, you use that for cleaning and in nasty nasty experiments…in fact I distinctly remember a chemist friend of mine damn near killing everyone in his enormous building, with a bottle of ammonia…

    They breed em hardy down there!

  7. Jill says:

    Um, are you sure he likes you?

  8. Carol says:

    I don’t think I will try making these cookies! It scares me! :shocked:

  9. Sonja says:

    Ha! Are you going to let your kids eat them? 🙂

  10. Jennifer says:

    Why? :shock:And who was the first person to say, “Hey, I’m kinda hungry, I think I’ll mix up some cookie batter and a nasty chemical…” So, what do they taste like? And how many does it take to kill you? :no:

  11. Tori says:

    Not that I didn’t believe you, Suzanne, but just for kicks I googled “ammonia cookies” and got 1020 hits! One of them is Emeril’s website!!!

    Aha! I just read at

    “According to the food history reference books, “Ammonia” cookies are not one specific cookie recipe but a whole host of edible treats using ammonium bicarbonate, an old-fashioned (probably now hard to get?) leavening agent. Ammonium carbonate is a byproduct of hartshorn, a substance extracted from deer antlers [harts horn]. Hartshorn is most commonly referenced in old cookbooks in jelly recipes. It was also known a source for ammonia, which could be used as a leavener.”

    Still sounds awfully dangerous to me! :shocked:

  12. Lis says:

    Alrighty then, don’t think I’m gonna try that recipe.:no: But it seems like I’ve heard of them before.

  13. Gina says:

    😯 Uh … these don’t sound like something I want to try. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them before either. I’ll stick with the good old chocolate chip and peanut butter.

  14. catslady says:

    All I have to say is…ewwwwwwwwwwww:yuck::yuck::yuck:

  15. TeresaH says:

    I love to experiment with new recipes but this one sounds like one I’ll pass on!!! Did you try one of his cookies Suzanne??? I can’t help but be curious at what they taste like!

  16. Josie says:

    You learn something new every day! And sometimes wish you hadn’t…:yuck:

  17. Cousin Sheryl says:

    Hello all,
    Cousin Sheryl here. I had never heard of ammonia cookies before I married my husband. It is a very old and cherished recipe in his family. Being one of those crazy people who actually loved my college chemistry class, I was interested in the chemical action when the cookie is mixed/baked. All of the ammonia escapes as a gas which “lifts” the cookie and causes it to rise. Thanks to Tori who did her research and found out that it is not a hoax. You have to run your kitchen exhaust fan and stand back from the oven door when you open it during baking. There is absolutley NO ammonia left in the finished cookie to eat. (Your body contains ammonia anyway as a waste product which your kidneys remove.)

    YES, Suzanne tried the cookie and SHE LIKED IT! It is a dry cookie with a light lemon flavor, best with coffee or a dessert wine (like eating Italian biscotti).

    I hope some of you will be brave enough to try them. If they are good enough for Emeril, they are a “Good Thing.” I have loved and eaten them for 21 years.

    PS – Mark wore the gloves just for the hygiene and “mess control.”

    See the picture of me today in my Industrial Shopping Costume!

  18. Suzanne says:

    Yes, they were good, LOL! They just sound scary!