Brick Oven Ginger Cookies - recipes from America's Colonial Villages
A hobby of mine inherited from my maternal Grandfather is going to garage sales and auctions. I picked up a book called "Recipes from America's Restored Colonial Villages." The book was printed in 1975 and many of the recipes are for interest only - ingredients too hard to get or the method too laborious or sometimes even a bit dangerous (making soap with lye!) I've only made a few recipes out of it, but they've been worth the effort. If you like cookies, and molasses and ginger, it is hard to imagine you not liking these. I think they're delicious.
The following recipe is from Old Bethpage Village, Long Island, New York. Oddly, this is the one village in the whole book which is a re-created village, with genuine old buildings (but it was not an actual place in "Old" Long Island.) It is a working 224 acre farm, with cows, and horses, demonstrations in sausage making, candle dipping and such. The era is late 18th and early 19th century. The country fair runs through Oct 3, 2010 and in 2009 budget shortfalls put this in the list of potential closures. I pass this info on to suggest if you thought about going, you may want to go while it is still open. There are many other events currently held here as well.
In 1695 Thomas Powell bought 10000 acres from the local Indians and his farmhouse is the only original building that was on the site when Old Bethpage village was conceived. * Women wearing 19th century calico farm dresses scurry about the kitchen, firing up the old brick oven, mixing the dough to make these cookies which are passed out to the many student visitors.
Brick Oven Ginger Cookies
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies
3/4 cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Cream together well the butter or shortening, sugar and molasses. Beat in the egg. Sift the flour, soda, spices and salt (sifting over a piece of wax paper makes an easy job of this) and stir into creamed mixture. Chill dough until firm enough to shape with your hands. Pinch off bits of dough and roll into small balls about the size of small walnuts. Roll balls in granulated sugar, place about 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet and bake in moderate (350F) oven 12-15 minutes until nicely browned around the edges. (the balls will flatten out as they bake). With a spatula, lift cookies to wire rack to cool.
My question is how did they chill the dough without a refrigerator and the early 1800's even predated ice boxes. My grandmother told me some people had cold springs in their basements on the farm. One could have placed a bowl in the trough of cold water but certainly most people did not have a spring in their house.
*historical information about Powell house from the internet, not guaranteed accurate. The rest of the information is from the book.
leatherbear last edited by
:jaj: Killer Recipe :jaj:
I will try this fall with the Pumpkin Dip found here: http://forum.gaytorrent.ru/index.php?topic=8358.0