0 from 0 votes
4.2 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.2/5 (5)
Course: Hand-Shaped Cookies, Refrigerator CookiesDifficulty: Easy

This old recipe with flavors of anise and molasses hails from back when our grandmothers didn’t need detailed instructions, they just knew what to do. A “stiff dough” is something you can manipulate, but not very easily. This was submitted as an “old German recipe” but I did some digging and it’s unlikely it’s actually from Germany (see note*), but more probably from the Southern US.


  • 1 scant cup lard

  • 1 cup sorghum syrup **

  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

  • 2 tablespoons ground anise or 12 to 14 drops anise oil

  • 2 teaspoons soda dissolved in a small amount of hot water

  • flour to make a stiff dough


  • Mix all ingredients. Roll in finger size rolls and refrigerate overnight. Then slice into small logs and bake at 350° F about 10 minutes or until done.


  • ** Sorghum is a grain, and these days we see wholegrain sorghum most often in grain or flour form in health food stores, but it can also be used as a syrup in baking, and in old recipes, it is this syrup that is being called for. It’s very similar to molasses, but Food & Wine has an excellent article on the difference between sorghum and molasses. Sorghum syrup can be easily found on Amazon, but please give your local specialty grocer a chance first. I haven’t tried this, but I’m pretty sure you could just use molasses and the results would be similar.
  • * This was given to me as a German recipe, but “Klutchen” is not even a word in German. The only use of the word “klutchen” that I could find was on Norwegian automobile sites, in which they use “klutchen” to mean “the clutch” (on a car).

    Google does not seem to know very much about “Klutchens” so my best guess as to what this cookie is…is that it is not a very widespread recipe from a small region in Germany or some other German-speaking area…OR that it’s a very bad English spelling from someone who did not understand what their German grandmother was saying.

    Still, the wording of the recipe and the use of sorghum…uncommon today but more common way back when, especially in the US deep south… suggests that it is indeed a very old recipe and thus, worth preserving here.

    Digging a little deeper, I find that sorghum is not an European ingredient at all…the plant hails from very warm climates, especially the Middle East, Africa, and the warmer regions of the Americas. It was not introduced to Europe until after WWII, making it unlikely that this is really an old-world German recipe.
  • Reviewers, please help us out and note the yield! Also, anyone who keeps track of how many cups of flour you put in for the best results can help out those of us who don’t have our grandmothers’ instincts. Thank you!


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

I would NOT make these again! They take way too long to make and do not even taste good. I would not recomend them to anyone!
- Jennelle in Canada

it's great
- A Baker

This is my all time favorite Christmas cookie. Yes, they take a LONG time to make but they are worth it. I slice them into penny size pieces (actually a little thicker) instead of small logs.
- Bendixen?in Iowa

those cookies were the best i cant belive i only made 10. those things are worth wateing 10 years or 10 days.
- alicia anderson?in usa

try putting a piece of fig in the dough circle then bake delish
- Reeree in london canada
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