Monday, February 20, 2012
President's Day Cookie
A year or so ago, we bought a fun cookbook, "Presidential Cookies." It has been fun to not only see what cookie each president put down as their favorite cookie but for many of them the history behind why a particular cookie was chosen.
In honor of President's Day, I want to spend today and the next blog on two presidents.
Today....John Adams (1735-1826) our second president of the United States.
The cookie of choice for him: Brandy Snaps
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup light molasses
1 Tbs. brandy OR vanilla (I used vanilla!)
1 tsp. ginger
1 3/4 cup sifted flour *
powder sugar for dusting
*I used whole wheat pastry flour and the L'Equip flour sifter to make a wonderful, nutritious flour for these cookies! (Click here for more details!)
Heat butter, sugar, molasses and vanilla until well blended. Add ginger.
Remove from heat and add the flour a little at a time, beating after each addition. Drop teaspoons of the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, allowing 3 inches between the snaps for spreading.
Bake 8-12 minutes at 350 degrees until edges are brown. Cool snaps on the parchment paper until firm. Remove snaps to a rack to cool completely. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.
Yield: 4 dozens snaps.
From Presidential Cookies cookbook:
President John and First Lady Abigail Adams were teh first resident of the newly built White House, known initially as the "President's Palace." Although construction of the White House was far from complete, the President and First Lady offered the most ceremonious hospitality possible under the circumstances.
On New Year's Day, 1801, they formally opened the mansion's massive doors with a grand reception"....more details found in the book OR online.
To the details of Brandy Snap cookie:
"An essential ingredient in early American cooking and White House cuisine was molasses. Stout, dark molasses was used to sweeten such desserts as rich ginger cookies and gingerbread because sugar was very expensive, John Adams considered molasses an essential ingredient in American independence, a reference to the Molasses Act of 1733. The British Parliament had passed the Act to tax sugar and molasses imported into the colonies from the West Indies and to impose shipment restrictions. The tax levied by this act is considered one of the indirect economic reasons for the American Revolution. True to President Adam's reference to molasses as an 'essential ingredient,' the following recipe for Brandy Snaps is rich with the thick syrup."