Lincoln’s Cookies | Recipes from American History

Lincoln’s Cookies | Recipes from American History

Week 21 of Dave Raymond’s American History course, covers “A House Divided II: Abraham Lincoln and Secession” We often think about what this well-known President did, but we don’t always remember what he ate, like Lincoln’s Cookies.

One of America’s most famous presidents is Abraham Lincoln. Born to an impoverished family, Lincoln grew up on cornmeal mush and potatoes, with very little variation. After he became President of the United States he had access to some of the best cuisine in America, yet he was notorious for skipping or forgetting meals and not even knowing what he was eating when he ate it. While his lack of palate was astounding, he was known to love two things: steak and fruit. He was so particular about his steak he would go out and buy it himself. Someone living in D.C. could easily happen upon the President by himself in the marketplace, haggling for the cut of meat he wanted. Lincoln’s other food passion was fruit in any form, but especially in baked goods; he was so well-known for being fond of fruit pies ladies in Salam MA would pack pies in baskets and send them to the White House just for the President. He also loved fruit in about anything else, and ‘Lincoln’s cookies’ were a special treat.

Lincoln's Cookies

Lincoln’s cookies

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. dried currants or raisins
  • 3 c. flour
  • milk
  • sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In large bowl cream together sugar and butter, then add egg and mix well. Add nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and flour, and stir until combined. Add currants, stir, then cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for 1 hour (you can leave the dough in fridge up to 12 hours).
  2. On lightly floured surface roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. With a cookie cutter cut out cookies and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. With a pastry brush lightly brush cookies with milk, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until edges start to lightly brown. Let cool and enjoy!
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