Our dessert workshop day arrived and this would be a full day of making, baking and mixing. Everyone began with a receipt that would need some things to be prepared and readied for the bake kettle or oven.
This first blog is about Frogger Cookies, a Marblehead, Massachusetts, receipt made with peal ash, a Pound Cake receipt from Hannah Glass, and a Chocolate Tart receipt from The Whole Duty of a Woman, 1737, Guide to the Fair Sex, Virgins Wives or Widows.
In our workshop papers, I added the wonderful story about the Joe Frogger cookies, named for the patriot and tavern owner Joseph Brown of Marblehead. Heather quickly began the receipt and worked the molasses, rum and butter into the dry ingredients and rolled them out between parchment paper. The dough needed to sit in the refrigerator for two hours before she could cut them. The originals Froggers were an invention of Joe’s wife, Lucretia Brown, and were served in their tavern and sent by the barrelful off to sea with the merchant ships. If you wish to know more about the cookies, go online and you will find the whole delightful story.
Heather picked a decorative tin mold to cut large cookies and put them on a greased tin sheet ready for the bake oven.
The Hannah Glass Pound Cake receipt has a batter that needs to be beaten for an hour by hand. Paul, having the strongest arm and biggest hands, jumped right in and started off whipping the eggs and butter together.
Following Hannah’s narrative receipt, he mixed the liquids with the dry and mixed and mixed and mixed, for a whole hour, by hand. This was hot work and we had to wipe his forehead once in a while.
Thanks to Paul the batter was light and fluffy and Heather helped by buttering the patties pans and spooning the batter in. Paul deserved a rest.
The bake oven had been heating for about two hours and, after being cleaned out, into it went the pound cake and Joe Froggers.
For our chocolate tart, there were two receipts. One is for the chocolate, from The Whole Duty of a Woman, and one for a sugar paste crust, Charles Carter 1730. Tracey started by melting the American Heritage Chocolate, adding eggs, the rice flour and other ingredients and melted everything together over the coals on the hearth. It was important to stir often so the mixture would not burn. When ready, the chocolate was put to the side and the sugar paste made.
All the desserts that were made in the workshop were going home, so the sugar paste, tart crust was placed in small patties pans.
With the crust ready, Tracey filled them and baked them in the kettle. The tarts did not take long, and once they were brown, out they came.
After six weeks my arm is healing, however I’m still typing with one hand. I will try and finish the Just Desserts blog with #2 soon.
Enjoy the warm weather,
Life is too short, eat dessert first.