Home Home Home Home Home Home Home


My adventure at Ben & Jerry's in Vermont!


Unicorn Love: the Eating Disorder Recovery Blog


 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!



Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com


Craftsy Writer
« Use Your Eggnoggin: Eggnog Nanaimo Bars For Serious Eats | Main | Babka's Your Uncle: A Carbohydratey Christmas Breakfast Idea from Rainy Day Gal »

America the Sweet: The First Published Christmas Cookie Recipe in America

Christmas cookies
Christmas is rich in tradition--and equally rich in cookies (hooray!). But have you ever paused to wonder what the cookie selection might have been like for our ancestors?

Well, in case you had been curious, here is a recipe from what is largely considered America's first cookbook (to clarify, the first cookbook featuring American food published in America--there had been other British books which had been released here previously), American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, which was published in 1796.

If these cookies sound more like hockey pucks than delicious treats to you, please, don't despair--after all, as Amelia advises that "if put in an earthen pot, and dry cellar, or damp room, they will be finer, softer and better when six months old." Whew!

Christmas Cookey

From American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, 1796

"To three pound of flour, sprinkle a tea cup of fine powdered coriander seed, rub in one pound of butter, and one and a half pound sugar, dissolve one teaspoonful of pearlash (a rising agent) in a tea cup of milk, knead all together well, roll three quarters of an inch thick, and cut or stamp into shape and slice you please, bake slowly fifteen or twenty minutes; tho' hard and dry at first, if put in an earthen pot, and dry cellar, or damp room, they will be finer, softer and better when six months old."

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (7)

! The first edition was printed in Hartford, which means that Connecticut finally has something that we can brag about (we were totally overusing Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe).

December 23 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

And "cookie" is an American-coined word, too, so something else to be proud of! I have a pic of this cookbook in my history-on-the-cookie chapter in my book. LOVE such things.(also be sure to check out Martha Washington's family cookbook... very interesting stuff)

December 23 | Unregistered CommenterChic Cookies

That's funny! They soften after 6 months old!

December 23 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

OMG. So odd. They keep for six months AND they soften? One does wonder what they tasted like after six months. Crazy!

December 23 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

It is a wonder any of our ancestors survived the kitchen. Merry Christmas, Cakespy, Mr Cakespy, and all fellow spies!

December 24 | Unregistered CommenterB More Sweet

Happy Holidays!

December 25 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

I love historical food entries. Thanks for this one. I love that they taste best after six months.

December 29 | Unregistered CommenterTender Branson

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.
© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.