ChristmasHolidaysRegional specialties from North Rhine-Westphalia

Aachen Printen

The different types of gingerbread in Germany also include the Printen. The typical shape, elongated stripes and the name come from Aachen. In addition to spices such as allspice, cloves, coriander and cinnamon, sugar beet syrup should also be used. In addition to the classic spice prints, there are also numerous other variants such as fruit, nut and chocolate prints. Like all gingerbread dough, potash is used as a leavening agent, which only develops its leavening force from 50 degrees. This allows the dough to mature for a long time in a cool environment.

In the 15th century numerous gingerbread makers and brass foundries came from Belgium to the city of Aachen. The brass foundry also made magnificent sheet metal molds for the gingerbread biscuits, among other things. These pressed – “prenten” / “printen” – the dough into these molds. This is how the name Printen came about. The expensive sheet metal molds were partly replaced by self-carved wooden molds. At that time, the Lebküchler still used cane sugar. But soon a substitute for the expensive cane sugar was found. When Napoleon was blocked from the continent, people began to think about the beet sugar they produced themselves around Aachen. But there was a problem: the heavy gingerbread dough became tough and did not come out of the mold well. The Lebküchler made short work of this and from then on did without the shapes. The dough was rolled out and cut into strips.

Christmas cookies Aachen Gewürzprinten and Printen with chocolate icing

Recipe Aachener Printen

The Printen are a gingerbread variant and are known for their typical shape, elongated strips.
Print Pin Bewerten
Course: pastries
Cuisine: Rheinland
Keyword: sweet
Difficulty: Experienced

Ingredients & Shopping list

  • 500 g sugar beet syrup
  • 100 g honey
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 500 g flour
  • 1 tsp ground pimento
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 5 g potash (alternatively baking soda)

Preparation

  • Heat the water in a saucepan; not cook. Dissolve honey, syrup and sugar in it until the mixture is liquid. Let everything cool down a bit.
  • Dissolve baking soda and potash in a little water
  • Mix the spices with the flour and knead all liquid ingredients with the flour mixture.
  • Leave the dough to rest in a cool place for 2 to 8 days. This makes the dough fluffy. The longer, the better it is for the end result.
  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator, knead well and roll out.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • Roll out the dough and cut into 10 x 4 cm rectangles. Place the dough pieces on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake the Printen at 200 ° C for 20 minutes.
  • Brush hot with a little sugar water. Let cool and store in tin cans.

Tips & Hints

The Printen get hard in the tin cans. If you want it soft, just add a piece of apple to the can.
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