- Janny de Moor - https://www.jannydemoor.nl -

John Hail cookies (Janhagel)

Ingredients

Baking tools:

 

 

Dough:

(makes about 32 pieces,

size about 4-7 cm)

 

To decorate:

Originally this cookie was a kind of flat, leathery, chewy treat, consisting of small drops of dough baked together. Janhagel was an expression for ‘ragtag and bobtail’ and the market speciality owed its name to the fact that it was mostly sold to people who could not afford more sophisticated bakery.

However, in the 19th century the name inspired an inventive baker to provide the cookie with a layer resembling hagel (‘hail’). The ‘Jan’ – a very common Dutch forename – remained and the result was a sweet cannibalistic joke that, like the daring names of so many other delicacies, has survived to our days.

 

* In the Netherlands only available at the baker’s. Same hard sugar as for sugar bread, but the grains are as small as little hailstones. As these are possibly difficult to obtain abroad you could use normal sugar cubes crushed into grains with a dough roll and sieve the finer grains out.