Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Soul Cakes

Tradition speaks of a time when poor beggars went from house to house, begging for soul cakes and other food. In exchange, the beggars would offer up their prayers for the dead. Each cake eaten would represent a soul freed from Purgatory.

Soul, Soul, a soul cake!
I pray thee, good missus, a soul cake!
One for Peter, two for Paul,
three for Him what made us all!
Soul Cake, soul cake, please good missus, a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry, any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul, & three for Him who made us all.

Many recipes abound (just Google it), but time and again, I ran into a kind of biscuit/shortbread variation with spices and dried fruit. When I came across a gluten-free almond spice cookie recipe, I knew that it might just be perfect - and it was! The shape was a little funky, but I can work with that in the future. The taste is very good. Definitely a milk or tea kind of cookie, not overly sweet, and full of goodness. I also plan on using this recipe to create horse-shoe shaped cookies for the feast of St. Martin of Tours (November 11th).


Here is my adaptation (makes 18 rectangular-shaped cookies):

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside:
  • 2 c. finely ground almonds (I used my food processor and did it in 3 batches)
  • 3/4 c. sorghum flour
  • 3/4 c. sweet rice flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Whisk together 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds and 1/4 c. hot water in a large bowl. Add the following and whisk well:
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 c. sugar (can add up to 1/4 c. less if desired)
  • 3/4 c. "butter," softened, such as Earth Balance
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
Mix the dry into the wet until combined. Fold in 1/4 c. finely chopped cranberries. The dough will be heavy and wet. Place onto a long piece of wax paper. Using the paper, roughly form a 12-inch log. Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 4 hours.

When you are ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350. Pull out your log and using a sharp knife, cut into 1/2 inch cookie slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool. Great just out of the oven or at room temperature! You can also bake part of the log, and freeze the rest for future baking.

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