skip to Main Content
  • Then click the categories you would like to search:

Found 707 Results
Page 1 of 71

Salmon Pasties

Michael Dragoo joins us again to show us a recipe for “Salmon Pasties – The Italian Way”. It comes from the 1805 cookbook “Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse. Help support the channel with Patreon ▶…

Tags: , , ,

March 21, 2018

“Pennsylvania Swankey”

Our suggested books on brewing▶… ▶▶ In today’s episode, Jon is transported back to 1836 as he visits Prairietown, part of Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, Indiana. Martha Zimmerman (portrayed by historical interpreter Kim McCann) shares a…

Tags: , , , ,

Baked Apple Pudding

This Baked Apple Pudding comes from the 1794 cookbook “Domestic Economy” by Maximilian Hazlemore. The flavor combination in this dish is excellent, and yes, 8 ounces of butter are in this pudding. Enjoy! Help support the channel with Patreon ▶…

Tags: , ,

Turnip Ragout

Michael Dragoo joins us in the kitchen once again! In this episode we prepare a “Turnip Ragout”. This recipe is from the 1824 cookbook “The Virginia Housewife” by Mary Randolph. This is a delicious, easy recipe with some surprising ingredients!…

Tags: , ,

Corn and Eels

Eels! That’s right, eels! We’re making a version of fall succotash based on a reference in the travel journal of George Loskiel from 1794. This recipe, as well as Loskiel’s journal, helps Jon and the crew connect to local history…

Tags: , , , ,

“Mushrumps” In Cream

Our good friend Michael Dragoo is in the kitchen again! Today Jon and Michael prepare a dish called “To Dress A Dish Of Mushrumps” from Martha Washington’s “Booke of Cookery”. This one is perfect for sharing at living history events!…

Tags: , ,

Today’s recipe is easily one of the best desserts we’ve ever made. This apple dumpling comes from “The London Art Of Cookery” by John Farley in 1792. You have to try it! Apple Pudding Episode ▶ ▶▶ Short Paste…

Tags: , , , , ,

A Peach Recipe 200 Years Old

It’s the perfect time of year for Peaches! Today we have a recipe from 1787 for a Peach Tart. This dish comes from “Cookery and Pastry” by Susanna Maciver. This one was an experiment, we hope you enjoy it! Help…

Tags: , , , ,

Salted Cod With Eggs At Mount Vernon

We couldn’t stay away! We’re back at George Washington’s Mount Vernon for a bonus episode with Deb Colburn. Today she has a recipe for “Dressing A Salt Cod”. Enjoy! Mount Vernon’s YouTube Channel ▶… ▶▶ Help support the channel…

Tags: , , , , ,

Farina Soup

This recipe for “Farina Soup” comes from a 1795 German Cookbook, the title of which translates, “Instructions Of All Kind Of Cookery And Pastry.” Thanks to Kayla and Karen at Old Salem Museums and Gardens, who are presently translating two…

Tags: , ,

Page 1 of 71
Early American Christmas Cookie

Early American Christmas Cookie

The recipe today is called a Christmas cookie. It’s from Amelia Simmons’ 1796 cookbook, American Cookery.

Christmas Cookie

  • 3 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Powdered Coriander
  • 10 ounces of Butter
  • 1 ¼ cups Sour Milk (If you don’t have sour milk, you can add 1 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar to milk)
  • ½ teaspoon Pearl Ash

Mix together flour, sugar and coriander, then rub in butter.

Christmas Cookie (Time 0_02_10;14)

Dissolve pearl ash into sour milk then mix into other ingredients. Knead for 5-10 minutes adding flour as needed.

Christmas Cookie (Time 0_02_48;29)

Roll out to ½ to ¾ of an inch thick and cut as desired.

Christmas Cookie (Time 0_03_24;01)

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

Christmas Cookie (Time 0_04_16;26)

Transcript from Video:

Recently in our “Exploring the 18th Century” series, we’ve been discussing chemical leavening and then going in depth into that topic. Today we’ll be starting a companion series of cooking episodes that goes with that. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking with James Townsend and Son.

The recipe today is called a Christmas cookie. It’s from Amelia Simmons’ 1796 cookbook, American Cookery. It’s very interesting here, a couple of different things. The first thing is that it’s called a Christmas cookie. It’s not something you normally see in an English cookbook. This is an American cookbook. She’s definitely got some Dutch influence here. You can also tell not only by Christmas being included in it, which isn’t a normal kind of big celebration in the 18th century for English, but also the word cookie, which is a reference to the Dutch word koekje, or their version of a cookie, and the third interesting thing about this recipe is that it uses pearl ash as the leavening agent and we have a pearl ash here. It’s an item that we’ve started carrying at the store. We have this available in little 2 ounce packages, so you can experiment with pearl ash too. Pearl ash is a refinement, or a component of the alkaline potash, which is extracted from burning trees or other vegetable matter. It’s typically used in soap making and in dyeing and other industrial processes, but when this alkaline component is mixed with an acid in baking, you get a leavening effect.

Now this recipe is a very simple one. We start off with 3 ½ cups of flour. To our flour, we will add 1 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of powdered coriander. For a lighter texture, I will rub in about 10 ounces of butter into our floured mixture. Our wet ingredients are very simple. I have 1 ¼ cup of sour milk. If you don’t have sour milk, you can take regular milk and add, say, a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to that. To our sour milk, let’s add ½ a teaspoon of our pearl ash. It needs to completely dissolve before we add it into our dry ingredients.

Once this is mixed well, it should be kneaded 5-10 minutes. If it’s too moist, add a little extra flour.

Once we’re done kneading this, we can roll it out to ½ inch or ¾ of an inch thick.

Once you’ve got it rolled out, you can cut this into any shape you like. I’m just going to cut simple rectangles.

Today, let’s bake these in a new product that we haven’t used before in the kitchen. Here is our little reflector oven. This is very similar to reflector ovens you see in the 19th century and we think they go back to the 18th century, but we’re not really quite sure exactly how far back they go. This is a perfect little tool for baking little items like this. In a home oven, you can bake these at about 325 for, say, 25 minutes.

Notice the wonderful crumb. This pearl ash makes a wonderful light and fluffy cookie. These look great. I’m sure they taste great. Let’s try them out.

Mmm, wow, that coriander flavor, completely different than what you’re probably used to. Very light and fluffy. These aren’t too chewy. They smell really nice. You should try these cookies out.   I want to thank you for joining us today as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

This Post Has One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top