Well with one of my recent Ebay bundles I purchased I got the complete Shrewsbury Cakes Kit which was exciting because this bundle was a steal. In Felicity's third book Felicity's Surprise, Felicity and Elizabeth (her best friend) make Shrewsbury (pronounced shrows-bree) cakes for their teacher.
So, I made some for myself.. and I am going to show you how to make them too! So before everyone gets too excited.. this is not cake. I am sorry to deceive you that way but Cakes is what they called cookies in the 18th century. What did they call cake then?... Well they called that cake too. I know, I know... this is almost as confusing as Aloha being a greeting and a goodbye..
So anyways... Shrewsbury Cakes are similar to today's sugar cookies, except the recipe I am going to share with you has a citrus-y hint which is amazing. When I first started looking for recipes, I wanted to use an authentic 18th century recipe but the ones I found included like.. one pound sugar and three pounds flour.... Okay I am not considered a skinny woman but this just sounds like a lot of cakes. Other more modern recipes needed rosewater. I live in the middle of no where, our nearest Wal-Mart is over half an hour away and a specialty food store is over an hour away. Nope... keep searching! And Bingo! I found this recipe.
Here is what you are going to need!
1/2 c. unsalted butter
(original recipe asked for 1/4 c. butter but in my first attempt at this recipe, the cookies became really hard, more like a gingersnap.. this may be the way they are suppose to be but I bumped up the butter the second time and I loved them better being nice and soft.)
1/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. of grated orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbl. milk
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cream or tartar
And the supplies you need are..
One large mixing bowl
One Medium mixing bowl
Hand or stand mixer
hand grater for the orange zest
I am sorry, but I did not take many pictures while I made this. I tend to get pretty serious in the kitchen... plus my kitchen lighting is horrible. So I know its hard... but try to follow without the pretty pictures. It'll be okay, now preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
First step is put the butter, sugar, and shortening in the large mixing bowl and cream the mixture.
Once the mixture is creamed, add the orange zest and vanilla extract and mix it all in, once that is done add your egg and milk and mix that in too.
Now get your medium bowl and add sifted flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda and mix that all together. Once that is done you can add it to the other mixture and mix it up good until a dough is formed.
Now put down some wax paper on your kitchen counter and sprinkle some sugar on it. Grab some dough and make about 1 inch balls with it. Roll each ball in the sugar and then set them each on a cookie sheet about an inch and a half apart. Take a glass and using the bottom, smoosh the balls until they are about half inch thick and resemble a cookie. This dough is thick enough that you could also roll it out and use cookie cutters.
Make sure they have room to grow because the dough expands A LOT! Now pop those bad boys in the oven until the edges are a golden brown.
Finished product! Once again... old 70s kitchen... bad lighting.
Okay now that we have had a snack and feeling refreshed. Let me talk about the Pleasant Company Shrewsbury Set.
The set comes with a wicker basket, four metal cookie cutters, a real sugar cone, a recipe sheet, and a cloth.
The recipe sheet has the old 18th century recipe on the front, colonial cooking terms on the back, and a modern recipe on the inside.
The cookies cutters are made of metal and the shapes are a crescent moon, a heart, a star, and clover.
The sugar cone is wrapped in blue paper and sealed with a sticker that has Felicity's logo on it.
The basket is a light colored wicker.
The cloth is a thick white fabric with colorful flower details.
This is a great little set and of course it has wonderful quality just like all the old Pleasant Company items and I hope you plan on trying this recipe cause they are very good "cakes."
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Oh and be sure to keep watching my blog because I will be introducing THREE new girls to my collection in the next two weeks!