Authentic Cracknels

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#1
The word "cookie" comes from the Dutch meaning small cake. The British use "cake" for cookie such as Shrewsbury Cakes or biscuits. Cracknels are a traditional English variation for cookies using caraway seeds.

Old 18th Century recipe for Cracknels from "English Housewifery" by Elizabeth Moxon, page 114.

"Take half a pound of fine flour, half a pound of sugar, two ounces of butter, two eggs, and a few caraway seeds; (you must beat and sift the sugar) then put it to your flour and work it to paste; roll them as thin as you can, and cut them with queen cake tins, lie them on papers and bake them in a slow oven. They are proper to eat with chocolate."

Modern version:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Note: Make sure you work the dough with your hands.

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, sugar and caraway seeds in bowl until well mixed.
3. Cut in butter. Beat egg slightly and add to flour, sugar and butter mixture.
4. Work the dough with your hands until the mixture holds together.
5. Taking a small portion of dough at a time, roll out to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut out dough with a 2 1/4 inch biscuit cutter and place on parchment lined cookie sheet 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Dough does not spread during cooking.
6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cookies will be soft to the touch.
7. Allow to cool slightly on cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely. As cookies cool they will become hard and crisp.
8. Yield about 7 dozen cookies.
 

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donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
29,747
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
#2
In "Civil War Recipes" from Receipts from the pages of Godey's Lady's Book, there is 1861 recipe for Cracknels:

"One pound of flour, half a pound of currants, half pound of sugar, half a pound of butter, and a little cream; season with a little mace, and add as many eggs as will make the whole into a rather stiff paste. Make it up in round balls, or pull together with a fork, and dip them (before baking) in rough pounded loaf sugar."
 


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