Making its debut in Penn and Teller's How To Play With Your Food, this great recipe has been showing up all over the web. Try it today!


  1. Beat the egg in a small bowl, until foamy.

  2. Add the buttermilk and the vanilla and blend well.

  3. Add the baking soda, one teaspoonful at a time, sprinkling it in and beating until the mixture is smooth and the consistency of light cream.

  4. Add the lemon juice all at once and blend into the mixture.
    Stir, do not beat (you want it creamy, but without a lot of air).

  5. The mixture will congeal into a pasty lump. Scoop it out of the bowl using a spatula and spread it on a floured surface.

  6. Sift the flour and 6 oz of the sugar together and use the fingertips to work it into the egg-lemon mixture.

  7. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out 1/32" thick, and with the tip of a sharp knife, cut the "angel" shapes and twist up the edges to form a shell-like curve about 3/8" high. Sprinkle on the remainder of the sugar.

  8. Brush each "angel" with melted butter.

  9. Place angels one inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden.

This recipe was recently used by Bruce Schneier as an example in "The Third Wave of Computer Attacks" - malicious information pretending to be legitimate content.

To ruin the fun, realize that baking soda is a carbonate. Lemon juice is an acid. When you mix the two, they react.1 Lots of bubbles, lots of carbon dioxide, and lots of mess.

Still, the recipe has been inserted in several online cookbooks. It's a good example of Schneier's point - what makes you trust online content? How do you know it's true? A good question for everyone to keep in mind, especially after the several cases of false information being used for stock manipulation purposes.

1: 2H+ + CO3-2 ==> H2O + CO2 to be exact. Thanks Fruan, you wonderful pedant you.

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