Aunt Margery's Klegens
  • 1 cup lard (Aunt Margery used lard; you can substitute Crisco regular solid, but lard tastes better and is actually making a culinary comeback! You can find it in 1# boxes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon anise oil or 1 Tablespoon anise extract (I prefer the oil, and you can always add a little more if you like a very strong anise flavor, but be careful, it is potent!)
  • 1 cup sour milk (Aunt Margery used to measure almost a cup of milk then add a couple teaspoons of white vinegar to make a cup and let it sit for a few minutes)
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  1. In the largest bowl of electric mixer, cream together the lard and sugar until very well blended and fluffy. Blend in molasses. Add egg and anise oil and mix well. Add sour milk alternately with the flour and baking soda (you can mix the soda into part of the flour). Mix until everything is well blended and you can form the dough into a big ball. Wrap the ball in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple hours or overnight.
  2. When ready to bake, have several large (ungreased) baking sheets ready to go. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. I usually take out about a quarter of the dough at a time and keep the rest refrigerated. Pinch off several tablespoons at a time and roll into a ball; then roll the ball into a long rope on a lightly floured work surface to about 12 inches long and ½-inch thick. Make several at a time, then line them up side-by-side and using a long sharp knife, slice into ¼-inch small pieces and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until klegens are deep golden brown. You want the cookies to be crunchy, not soft, so don't undercook. Let cookies sit on the baking pan for a minute or so, then push them off onto a cooling rack using a spatula. Don't worry - they don't break! Repeat using all the dough. I have no idea how many little cookies this batch makes. Too many to count!
Recipe by The Culinary Cellar at