The cookbook belonging to Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) offers insight into the tastes of 19th-century America. Many recipes including cider cakes, spice cakes, clove cakes and cardamom cakes are perfect to enjoy in the fall of the year with the cooler evenings while enjoying the color of the autumn leaves.

Cardamom is a spice made from combining and grinding several types of seeds from the ginger family. It can be used medicinally to help several ailments including aiding digestion. It is considered to be one of the world’s oldest spices. Egyptians were even known to have used cardamom to prevent tooth decay. Today, cardamom remains an expensive spice because it needs to be harvested by hand. One acre of cardamom produces about 50–150 pounds of cardamom spice.

Cardamom Cake
1 lb. flour
1 lb. sugar
3 oz. butter
3 eggs
Ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom

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Mix the flour and sugar together then soften the butter and mix it together with eggs in the flour and sugar and add the spice to it. Knead the whole very well and then roll it out thin and cut it in square cakes.

Adapted Cardamom Cakes Recipe
3 1/3 cups of flour
2 ¼ cups of sugar
¾ stick of butter, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of ginger
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and combine with sugar. Add softened butter and eggs and spices. Use the mixer to until well combined and knead the dough, roll out and cut into squares ½ inch thick. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

 

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