Cookies - known in the period as cakes
Shrewfbury Cake, Simmons, American Cookery, 1798
Half pound butter, three quarters of a pound fugar, a little mace, four eggs mixed and beat with your hand, till very light, put the compofition to one pound flour, roll into fmall cakes--bake with a light oven.
N.B. In all cafes where fpices are named, it is fuppofed that they be pounded fine and fifted; fugar must be dried and rolled fine; flour, dried in an oven; eggs well beat or whipped into a raging foam.
˝ lb butter
2 C sugar
Spices (2 Tbs of the spice of your choice)
3 ˝ C flour
Blend butter and sugar, add eggs and whip till risen.
Add spices and flour, mixture will become a thick batter.
Spoon out onto pans with parchment
Other Shrewsbury cake recipes add addition liquids such as cream, rose-water, or a Portuguese white wine called sack to the cookie.
To make Shrowsbury Cakes- unknown, Washingtons Booke of Cookery, pre-1715
Take 4 quarts of flower, 3 pounds of butter, & break it in little pieces,& worke them well together, then take a pound & halfe of powder sugar, halfe an ounce of cinnamon, a little cloves & mace, 3 whites of eggs, a little rosewater & sack, & work it up with warme cream & soe bake it.
To make Shrewsbury Cakes- Glasse, The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, 1796
Take two pounds of flour, a pound of fugar finely fearced, mix them together (take out a quarter of a pound to roll them in); take four eggs bear, four fpoonfuls of cream, and two fpoonfuls of rofe-water; beat them well together, a mix them with the flour into a pafte; roll them into thin cakes, and bake them in a quick oven.
These cakes are more similar to what we refer to as shortbread cookies.
Another Sort of Little Cakes- Glasse, The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, 1747
A pound of flour, and half a pound of sugar, beat half a pound of butter with your hand, and mix them well together, bake it in little cakes.
3 1/2 Cups flour
1 Cup sugar
1/2 lb butter
Blend butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add flour till it turns into large crumbs. Press into pan. Bake 30 minutes then score to the size of peices you wish.
Another Sort of Little Cakes- Smith, The Compleat Housewife, 1758
Take a pound of flour and a pound of butter, rub the butter into the flour; two spoonfuls of yeast and two eggs, make it up into a paste; slick white paper; roll your paste out the thickness of a crown; cut them out with the top of a tin canister; sift fine sugar over them, and lay them on the slick’d paper; bake them after tarts an hour.
These traditional French macaroons are made with almonds. French cookbooks of the 18th century use the name macaron, while the translated English versions of these books at the time changed the word to macaroon. English cookbooks of the period use many other derivations including mackeroon, mackaroon, maccaroon and mackaroom.
Macaroons- Court and Country Cook (orginally in French), English translation by J.K., 1702
Macaroons are a particular Confection of fweet Almonds, Sugar, and the White of an Egg, and to make them it is requifite to provide a Pound of Almonds; which are to be fcalded, blanch’d, and thrown into fair Water: Afterwards, they muft be drain’d, wip’d and pounded in a Mortar; moiftening them at the fame time, with a little Orange-flower-water, or the White of an Egg, left they fhould turn to Oil. Then taking the fame quantity of Powder-fugar, with three or four other Whites of Eggs, beat all well together, and drefs your Macaroons upon Paper, with a Spoon, in order to be bak’d with a gentle Fire: When they are half done, they may be ic’d over at Pleafure, as the March-panes; or they may be bak’d outright, without Icing, as the Savoy-biskets, or thofe of bitter Almonds, which they very much refemble in their Nature and Quality.
3 C blanched, skinless sliced almonds
1 egg white
4 C granulated sugar
4 egg whites
Whip sugar and whites together
Combine with almonds that have been well pulverized into a paste
Spoon onto paper lined pan
Bake at 325° F for 10 minutes then brush with icing and continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes, or bake them without the icing for about 20 minutes. The macaroons will be firm and glossy on top and will peel off the parchment paper when done baking.
Icing - 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 egg whites whipped till combined.
Gingerbreads come in all sorts of varieties during this period. Molasses as well as honey is used as part of the recipe. Some gingerbreads are hearty and thick cakes and others are more like cookies. An assortment of spices and fruits are added in various recipes.
The Simmons recipe uses pearl ash as a leavening agent to lighten the texture of the cookie. Pearl ash (potassium carbonate) was the predeccesor to the modern baking soda and baking powders we use today.
Molasses Gingerbread Simmons, American Cookery, 1796
One tablespoon of cinnamon, one spoonful ginger, some coriander or allspice, put to four teaspoons pearlash, dissolved in half pint of water, four pound flour, one quart molasses, six ounces butter, (if in winter warm the butter and molasses and pour to the spiced flour) knead well till stiff, the more the better, the lighter and whiter it will be; bake brisk fifteen minutes; don’t scorch; before it is put in, wash it with whites and sugar beat together.
Recipe adapted by 1/3
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ginger
Pinch of coriander or allspice
1 teaspoon pearlash
4 cups flour
1 cup molasses
3 tablespoons butter
Combine spices and flour; set aside
Mix pearlash and water; set aside
Blend molasses and butter, add water and pearl ash, add flour and spices.
Dough will be thick, roll out and cut to size with a cookie cutter or top of a cup
Bake 15 minutes at 375'