The Hammond-Harwood House was featured on last night’s episode of Chesapeake Collectibles on Maryland Public Television. In case you missed our moment in the spotlight, the full episode is available here.
Monthly Archives: March 2013
As we wait for the debut of the new edition of the Maryland’s Way Cookbook, we will be highlighting the favorite recipes of our staff and volunteers. This week, Hammond-Harwood House trustee Dr. Charles Webb was kind enough to share his thoughts on the recipe for Albany Cookies:
The Albany Cookie or cake is a simple sugar and cinnamon cookie that became a Christmas treat in early colonial times in tidewater Maryland. It was such a part of the holiday season that it persisted in many families well into the late twentieth century. While it is delicious, it is by today’s terms a very basic cookie. On the Eastern Shore it was made by the Goldsborough family at Otwell so far back that its origin and the reason for the name are obscure. When one of the Goldsborough daughters married a member of the Holliday family at Readbourne on the Chester River, the cookie went there. But it was also used by the Lloyds and probably many families all around the Bay.
Perhaps the fact that cinnamon and sugar were precious commodities in early colonial days is the reason for its popularity. It is an easy cookie to make. Because it is formed into a bow (or pretzel) shape, the making of the cookie can become a family event. Children from 5 or 6 on can shape their own cookie for baking.
If you want to sample an historic holiday specialty try this recipe. It will be in the new edition of the Maryland’s Way cookbook… It is good any time of the year!
6 cups flour (sifted), 1 lb. dark brown sugar, ½ lb. butter or margarine,
1 egg, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup cream (or 1 scant cup evaporated milk),
2 oz. cinnamon (10 tablespoons), salt, granulated sugar to roll cookies in.
Mix flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Dissolve soda in the cream in measuring cup. Cream the softened butter, add brown sugar and beat well. Add egg and beat well again. Alternately add flour and milk, mixing until all ingredients are incorporated. A pinch of salt may help. Cover the dough in a bowl and cool overnight.
To bake, divide dough into about 8 or 10 pieces. Take out one piece at a time, pinch off a small piece and roll on a sugar coated board with hands till about the shape and size of a pencil, coating the surface with the sugar. Loop the ends around to overlap the center of the roll making a bow or pretzel shape, and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Let cool, then rap on underside of cookie sheet to loosen them. Enjoy a traditional Eastern Shore Christmas treat from an early era when cinnamon and sugar were scarce.
This year, the Hammond-Harwood House will be issuing the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Maryland’s Way Cookbook, which was compiled in 1963 by Hope Andrews and Francis Kelly as a fundraiser to support the House. This classic of Chesapeake cooking has inspired cooks ever since, and we’re thrilled that it will once again be available to everyone who wants to make crab cakes, corn pudding, and chocolate cake. And in case you’d like to make that chocolate cake this weekend, here is the recipe for Maryland Fudge Cake, which was contributed to the cookbook by Miss L.C. Claude.
Maryland Fudge Cake
1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 squares bitter chocolate, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup black walnut meats
Cream butter and sugar. Melt chocolate over hot water. Sift flour and salt. Beat eggs very light. Combine ingredients, adding vanilla and walnut meats. Mix well, and spread on paraffin paper in a shallow pan. Bake 10 minutes in a hot oven at 400 degrees. Ice and cut in squares.
Icing: 2 teaspoons butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 3 tablespoons or less boiling coffee. Cream butter and sugar, add cocoa, then coffee gradually until of spreading consistency.