- 2 cups all-purpose flour (200 g)
- 1 cup white sugar (190 g)
- A pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold (230 g)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Almond slivers
- Crystallized sugar ('kandij') or caramelized sugar shards (see Tips below)
Press dough onto a greased cookie sheet, roughly forming a rectangle. Brush surface with the beaten egg and decorate with almond slivers and sugar crystals or caramel shards. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned.
Using a sharp knife, immediately cut into the desired shapes (squares, rectangles, fingers or diamonds). Leave to cool and crispen.
You can use 'kandij' (sugar crystals) to decorate your Jan Hagel cookies, but as I've found when I've been abroad at Christmas time, crystallized sugar isn't available everywhere. Instead, I've come up with an easy alternative: simply melt 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan over a high heat (do not stir). The second the sugar liquefies completely, decant the liquid sugar onto waiting parchment paper (that you've spread out on the kitchen counter). Try to pour it thinly. The sugar will set into a crisp disk. Once cooled, simply chop into shards (a mezzaluna knife works well here). The larger shards will remain crispy as the cookies bake, while the smaller ones will melt into the cookies -- delicious either way. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention.