Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Historic Food Project 4: Cookies

The fourth challenge in the Historic Food Fortnightly was Sweets for the Sweet.  I decided to try one of the cookie recipes in Practical Housekeeping, planning to make enough for the PADS meal on Sunday night.  I selected the recipe for Sand Tarts on page 98 of the 1897 edition of Practical Housekeeping since it had pencil marks surrounding it.

Sand Tarts

Two cups sugar, one of butter, three of flour, two eggs, leaving out the white of one; roll out thin and cut in square cakes with a knife; spread the white of egg on top, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and press a blanched almond or raisin in the center.  -- Miss Clara G. Phellis

Sand Tarts ready to bake
Mixing up the dough and cutting out the cookies was straightforward.  I mixed up the cookies using my Kitchenaid stand mixer.  It made a dry dough that was a little bit difficult to manipulate.  I rolled it out and cut out squarish shapes using a fluted pastry cutting wheel, brushed beaten egg white on top, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and then added an almond.  Baking the cookies was tricky, I tried a 325 F oven but had trouble getting the time right.  The cookies quickly went from raw to brown once they started cooking.

Sand Tarts
I decided not to make a second recipe of Sand Tarts for PADS, instead I made a batch of my favorite family recipe which came from a German language cookbook that belonged to my Great-great Grandmother or to her mother.

Cinnamon Crackers

1 pound sugar, 3/4 pound butter, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, three eggs, and one pound of flour or enough to roll out.  Cream together sugar and butter.  Add cinnamon and eggs, one by one, mixing thoroughly until combined.  Add flour and mix until well combined.  Roll out and cut out with cookie cutters.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes.  Smaller, thinner cookies cook faster than larger, thicker ones.  

We traditionally convert the pound of sugar to 2 cups and the pound of flour to 4 cups.  These cookies can be frosted, but they are pretty with a sprinkling of colored sugar put on before the cookies go in the oven.
Cinnamon Crackers

1 comment:

  1. I've been reading your historic cooking and needlework posts with interest. Maybe I'll make it to the Civil War re-enactment next weekend??