Historic Cookies

According to Wikipedia, Garibaldi biscuits first appeared during a period of wartime rationing in the mid 1800′s and were named after the Italian general who led the fight to unify Italy; Giuseppe Garibaldi. They were first manufactured in 1861 in Britain and are still available today. In the U.S. they were know as Golden Raisin Biscuits and were made with raisins as opposed to the currants of their British counterparts. The U.S. version is no longer available, but the British one can be found online and in specialty food stores.  They were always one of my favorite cookies, not too sweet and with a slightly chewy texture, so I was very pleased to find a recipe for a similar cookie on the King Arthur Flour website not too long ago. I have since made two batches, the first time I followed the recipe to the t. The following has been tweaked just a bit.

Sun Oven Cranberry Orange Garibaldi’s

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cold orange juice

2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cup dried sweetened orange flavored cranberries, chopped

2 tablespoons turbinado (raw) sugar, or to taste*

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.

Lightly grease or line with parchment paper three small rimmed baking sheets.**

Whisk together flour, confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix in butter with hands until the dough is crumbly. Add vanilla, drizzle in orange juice and mix in enough water until the dough holds together and is not at all crumbly.

Cut dough in half and form into two small, rectangles, pressing each side on the work surface to smooth out the edges. They will look like small bricks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Place one piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out to a rectangle that’s approx. 10- by 14-inches. It won’t be a perfect rectangle and the dough will be very thin. Brush the dough with some of the beaten egg. Spread half of the cranberries (3/4 cup) along one of the long halves of the dough. Fold the other half over the cranberries and roll the dough out a little more, to approx. 6- by 15-inches. Some of the cranberries will poke through.

Brush the dough with some more of the egg and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the turbinado sugar.

If you want more uniform cookies trim the ragged edges, these pieces can be baked and consumed before anyone else sees them. If you don’t care about appearances, don’t bother. Using a pizza cutter cut the dough into three strips lengthwise and five pieces crosswise for a total of 15 cookies.

Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets. They don’t expand very much so they can be close together.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Cookies can be baked all in one go by stacking the baking sheets in a criss cross manner. Bake until they are a light golden brown, approx. 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Makes 30 cookies

* The recipe on the King Arthur Flour website used 1/2 cup coarse white sparkling sugar for the topping. That was too sweet for my taste. If you like a sweeter cookie add more sugar.

** I don’t recommend non-rimmed baking sheets for use in the GSO. Although the leveling tray does a good job of keeping things level, baked goods can easily slide off a flat sheet if there is even a slight incline.

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