Broonie

Broonie is a traditional oatmeal gingerbread from the Orkney Islands in Scotland. This particular recipe comes from the folklorist F. Marian McNeill, who collected traditional recipes for her 1929 book The Scots Kitchen. Although she collected recipes from all over Scotland (I made another of her gingerbread recipes in this post), she was born and raised in Orkney, so broonie may have been familiar to her from her childhood.

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Heart Cakes

These 18th century heart cakes are a variation on queen cakes, which were also often baked in heart-shaped tins. This recipe, from Charlotte Mason’s 1777 book The Lady’s Assistant, spruces up a basic queen cake recipe with the addition of candied orange peel and citron. You could certainly bake them in regular muffin tins, too – but as hearts, they are perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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Fine French Macaroones

Macaroons are small, delicate biscuits made with almonds, sugar, and egg whites – not to be confused with sandwich-cookie style macarons, which weren’t invented until the 1930s. The original macaroons date back to at least the 14th or 15th centuries. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, they were usually served with wine or liquor as a light refreshment, or crushed and used in trifles or other desserts. They could come in several different flavors, but most commonly were made with either rose water or orange-flower water, as in this Regency era version.

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Fanchonettes

Fanchonettes are a type of French tart, traditionally topped with meringue. This recipe comes from Charles Elmé Francatelli, who most likely learned how to make them when he was training under Antonin Carême, a famous French chef at the time. The 1836 English translation of Carême’s books, French Cookery, contains a similar recipe for fanchonettes, which can be flavored with vanilla, almonds, coffee, currants, pistachios, hazelnuts, or apricots. I chose to make Francatelli’s version, however, because his fanchonettes are made with chocolate – my favorite.

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Christmas Pudding

Eliza Acton, one of the first authors to provide a recipe for a specifically “Christmas” pudding, actually included 3 different recipes for Christmas puddings in her encyclopedic work, Modern Cookery in all its Branches. This one, titled “The Author’s Christmas Pudding,” is evidently her own recipe; she calls it a “remarkably light small rich pudding.”

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Sour Milk Ginger Bread

This gingerbread comes from Foods That Will Win the War, a pamphlet and recipe book instructing cooks how to save food during World War I. Although the United States never had official rationing during the first World War, the U.S. Food Administration ran an aggressive propaganda campaign urging Americans not to waste food, especially wheat, meat, fats, and sugar. Gingerbread was perfect for this, since the use of molasses as a sweetener means that it can be made without any added sugar at all.

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