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Vigil Cookie Recipes

Spiced Vigil Cookies

Shrewsbury Cakes (Shortbread)
John Murrell, A Delightfull Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, 1621

Take a quart of very fine flower, eight ounces of fine sugar beaten and sersed, twelve ounces of sweete butter, a Nutmegge grated, two or three spoonefuls of damaske rose-water, worke all these together with your hands as hard as you can for the space of halfe an houre, then roule it in little round Cakes, about the thicknesse of three shillings one upon another, then take a silver Cup or glasse some foure or three inches over, and cut the cakes in them, then strowe some flower upon white papers & lay them upon them, and bake them in an Oven as hot as for Manchet, set up your lid till you may tell a hundreth, then you shall see them white, if any of them rise up clap them downe with some cleane thing, and if your Oven be not too hot set up your lid again, and in a quarter of an houre they will be baked enough, but in any case take heede your Oven be not too hot, for they must not looke browne but white, and so draw them foorth & lay them one upon another till they be could, and you may keep them halfe a yeare, the new baked are best.

¼ C sugar
½ C butter
1 C flour
1½ tsp nutmeg

Sift flour with sugar and nutmeg, then cut in the butter and sprinkle the rosewater over the resulting dough. Knead, then roll out ¼-inch thick and cut out into three-inch circles (or the vigil cookie designs of your choice). Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes.

Redaction ©2003 by Chris Adler-France

Spiced Almondpaste Cookies

White Gingerbread
A Delightfull Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen

Take halfe a pound of marchpaine past, a quarter of a pound of white Ginger beaten and cerst, halfe a pound of the powder of refined sugar, beate this to a very fine past with dragagant steept in rose-water, then roule it in round cakes and print it with your moulds: dry them in an oven when the breade is drawne footh, upon white papers, & when they be very dry, box them, and keepe them all the yeare.

½ lb. almond paste
1½ Tb. water
½ Tb. rosewater
1 tsp gum tragacanth
½ C sugar
1 Tb. ground ginger

Combine the water and gum, then mix with the almond paste and sugar. Roll out into small balls, flatten into molds, remove, and place on parchment paper. Bake at 200 for 20 minutes, then turn off the oven and let sit for 15 minutes more.

Redaction ©2003 by Chris Adler-France

Period Shortbread

To Make Fine Cakes
John Patridge, The Widowes Treasure, 1585

Take a quantity of fine wheate Flower, and put it in an earthen pot. Stop it close and set it in an Oven, and bake it as long as you would a Pasty of Venison, and when it is baked it will be full of clods. Then searce your flower through a fine sercer. Then take clouted Creame of sweet butter, but Creame is best: then take sugar, clove, Mace, saffron and yolks of eggs, so much as wil seeme to season to season your flower. Then put these things into the Creame, temper all together. Then put thereto your flower. So make your cakes. The paste will be very short: therefore make them very little. Lay paper under them.

½ lb. sweet (unsalted) butter, softened
¾ C very finely granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
2½ C flour
pinch cloves
pinch mace
pinch saffron

Cream the butter, then slowly add sugar. Next add the egg and beat throughly. Add dry ingredients and mix until completely blended. Press evenly into a 9" pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove to cooling rack and cut into pieces while still hot.

Redaction ©2001 by Chris P. Adler

Where to get molds (suggestions by Katja)

THE best place for period cookies molds is House on the Hill.
Historic Impressions is another.
I've also heard of Serra.
The Cookie Cutter Factory has a ton of modern designs.

For more on period cookies, here's Aoife's Link on the subject and Stefan's Florilegium: Cookies.

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