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12. When you have covered both baking sheets, bake biscuits 5 minutes. Combine scraps and re-roll until all the dough is used up. You may need to bake a second batch.

13. Cool half-baked cookies on wire racks.

14. Beat egg whites with a wire whip or hand mixer until they form soft peaks.

15. Add lemon extract and whip in enough sugar to form a stiff but spreadable icing.

16. Put a lump of jam or jelly at the center of each cookie, and spoon a pile of icing over that. (It will flatten out in the baking.)

17. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees and bake until icing is browned at the edges.

Serve as dessert, or with ice cream as part of the dinner of a wealthy family.


This recipe is from a collection of recipes dated from 1829 to 1849 and probably made by Anna Moore Hubbell (1790-1861) of Bennington, Vermont. Mrs. Hubbell's husband was born in upstate New York, and the word "cookie" came into American use from the Dutch language. The first printed recipe for cookies is quite similar, although not so rich, and was published by Amelia Simmons in the 1796 American Cookery. This manuscript recipe shows that Simmons's book was read and used, or perhaps reinforces the theory that Simmons lived near Albany, where the second and much-corrected version of her book was published. We know that Mrs. Hubbell made these cookies in the spring, because she dated the recipe. Since she gives no method, I have taken the directions from Simmons.

Figure 3 Manuscript of recipe for "Eliza Cookees." Source: Hubbell manuscript, author's collection

"5 cups of flour

2 [cups] of Sugar

1 [cup] of Butter

1 [cup] of Water

Teaspoon salaratis [potassium bicarbonate]

a little Salt Carraway Seeds

April 14, 1849"

Yield: 50-60 cookies


Copyright 2003, 2004 by Mark H. Zanger. Remember, there is no copyright on recipes or other common household formulae, but copyright and fair use laws do apply to selection of recipes and cultural-historical commentary.