Saturday, October 29, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Soul Cakes + Recipe

Later tonight, I will be attending my brother & sister-in-law's Halloween party! We trade back & forth hosting Halloween shin-digs & this was their year! But a girl can help out with food, can't she? 

Earlier this summer, I heard about soul cakes on one of my favorite podcasts, Boys & Ghouls. I was so charmed by the idea, that I decided to make a batch for my brother's party! If all goes well, they just might become a holiday tradition! 

Soul cakes date all the way back to the medieval times in Britain & Ireland, where Christians (usually children & the poor) would go door to door on All Hallow's Eve (Oct. 31), All Saint's Day (Nov. 1) & All Soul's Day (Nov. 2) singing songs & saying prayers for the souls of the dead. This was known as "souling" & the cakes were often referred to as "souls". For each cake eaten, it is said that a soul would be released from purgatory. This practice continued all the way into the 1930's & our very own tradition of trick or treating can be drawn back to these origins! 

These cakes are easy & very tasty! They aren't too terribly sweet, so if you're suffering from a Halloween induced sugar/carb hangover, these might be just the ticket! If you do decide to make these in the coming days, take a picture & tag me on social media! I would love to see them! 

The Finished Product! 


Makes 24 3 1/2 inch biscuit-like "cakes"

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar (you could reduce this, if you like)
3/4 cup butter 
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten 
2 tsp apple cider vinegar 
Raisins or Craisins (optional)

The Process

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bow. Work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the egg and white wine vinegar. Thoroughly mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a ball. The dough will be firm. Use your hands to press the dough together into a ball, if necessary. Cover the bowl and chill for 20 minutes.
3. Lightly flour a clean, flat surface and roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into large rounds using a cookie cutter or a glass. I used the opening of a mason jar for mine! Use the end of a wooden spoon to press a cross shape into the cakes. Place the cakes onto the baking sheets and press raisins into the top of the cakes, if desired. Gather the scraps together and roll again until all the dough has been cut into cakes.
4. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the cake tops are lightly golden. Mine were good after 11 minutes. Cookies  can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for about a week.

1 comment:

  1. Yum and fun to learn of a past tradition. We'll try them out!


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