Monday, October 22, 2012

Soul Cakes - The Original Trick-or-Treat Treat


These tasty shortbread cookies were the original trick-or-treat treat. Long ago, Catholics believed that more prayers would hasten a soul's ascent to heaven. Poor people went from house to house offering to pray for the deceased, in return for Soul Cakes, in a practiced called "going souling."
SOUL CAKES or McMURTRY SHORTBREAD
They need no adornment but you may wish to frost them or use for cookie decorating for a party or carnival activity for children. Cut out with leaf, Halloween or round cookie cutters.
Preheat oven to 325°, cream together until fluffy: 
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/3 C powdered sugar                             
1 tsp vanilla extract           
Set aside.  Sift together:              
1 C all-purpose flour
2 TBSP cornstarch
18 tsp salt
1/2 C chopped pecans (optional)
Work the flour mixture into the creamed mixture just until crumbly. Place dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and roll to 1/2 " thickness. Cut with cookie cutters, transfer to baking pan, sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake at 325° for 10-12 min. until edges are almost golden.
If you don't have time to bake, Walker's brand shortbread cookies are amazing!