Monday, April 6, 2009
Irish Caraway Crisps
Years ago Bob and I trekked to northern Canada in search of the Aurora Borealis. The solar flares that initiated our journey stopped as soon as we reached the border. Undeterred, we continued on, sure in our belief that they'd resume in a day or two. Needless to say our quest was unsuccessful. I can, however, report we had an awfully good time getting there - there being an Alaskan border town that wasn't even on the map. It was a wonderful adventure. Later, I recounted the trip with an Irish colleague who thought I was completely daft. As a child she was able to see the Northern Lights from her front stoop. That anyone would spend three weeks in the wilderness in search of something so ordinary truly baffled her. Bridie was a homemaker and far more domestic than I was at the time. She was very feminine - you'd never catch her in boots, a tent or an outhouse, but you could count on her to bring cakes and cookies for the staff to enjoy with coffee or tea. The caraway crisps were one of her favorites. I recently inherited a dog-eared copy of Maida Heatter's first cookbook and it contains a cookie very similar to Bridie's crisps. These cookies are not too sweet, wonderful with tea and very easy to make. If you're looking for something a bit different to satisfy your sweet tooth without causing sugar shock you might want to give these a try.
Irish Caraway Crisps
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ( 1 4-oz. stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl. Set aside.
3) Place butter in bowl of an electric stand mixture and beat until soft enough to mix with sugar. Add sugar and beat well. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Gradually add dry ingredients; mix well.
4) Turn mixture onto a lightly floured work surface. Add caraway seeds and knead just until incorporated.
5) Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Place in freezer for 15 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator and let chill for 1 hour, or until mixture is firm enough to roll.
6) Lightly flour a work surface. Working with 1/3 of dough at a time, roll dough to 1/16 or 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a 3-inch round cookie cutter; use a thin spatula to transfer cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet spacing them 1/2-inch apart. Scraps can be rerolled and cut.
7) Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are lightly brown all over. Rotate pans in oven. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Store airtight. Yield: 30 to 36 cookies.
Recipe courtesy of Maida Heatter.