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Equipment: Pastry blender or food processor, small saucepan, 2 baking sheets, wood board and rolling pin, cookie cutters (optional), cookie jar

1. Remove butter from refrigerator 1 hour before using to soften. Grease baking sheets.

2. In a small saucepan, mix sugar with a cup of water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

3. When syrup is cool, dissolve 1 teaspoon salt and baking soda in a little milk, and add to syrup.

4. Measure flour into a large mixing and bowl and stir in the coriander.

5. If using food processor, cut the butter into small cubes and process with most of the flour until it has the consistency of cornmeal, then blend with the rest of the flour. If using pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it is

 

evenly distributed. (Mrs. Hubbell may have "rubbed" the butter into the flour with her hands.)

6. Work syrup into the butter-flour mixture to make a stiff, or even a little crumbly, dough.

7. At this point, Simmons writes, "Make rolls half an inch thick and cut to the shape you please." This probably means to roll out the dough on a board 1/2-inch thick, and then cut into shapes such as rounds, hearts, or diamonds. If your dough doesn't roll well, thin with a little more water, or add a little flour. Gather scraps of dough and re-roll to make as many cookies as possible.

8. Bake 25 minutes in a 325-degree oven.

9. Leave in cookie jar overnight to soften.

Serve as a snack for up to three weeks.

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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.