There’s a cool story behind these not-so-delicious cookies: the recipe is 1,300 years old. There’s a really long and interesting article on this recipe, but the short version is that in 1915 archeologists found a tomb in China, within which were preserved pastries—from which this recipe was retroactively developed. You can read the entire article here.
While they tasted OK, they were really really dense, which made them a little tough to eat.
They may not be the best cookies you’ve ever made, but it’s interesting to think back a millennium and consider how they cooked back then.
What you’ll need:
- 1 stick softened butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 12 red, seedless grapes
- 2T apricot jam
What to do:
Mix the softened butter and sugar until pale, then add the egg and blend until completely incorporated.
Gradually add the flour, and mixing while you do so, until everything is mixed well. The dough will be firm and a creamy yellow. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Wash the grapes and slice them in half, longitudinally. Gently mix them with the apricot jam until they are completely coated.
Heat your oven to 350° F.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. At this point, I found it to be too crumbly and stiff, so I added another egg to make it workable. Do the same if you have the same problem with it. Divide the dough into 24 equal prices, and roll each into a ball about 1-1.5 inches in diameter.
Place the balls on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet, spacing them equally. Score them crosswise four times, creating a pattern like an asterisk (*). I used a fork to make indentations in them, to reasonably good effect. Depress the center of each cookie with your thumb, so the dough bulges outward.
With a small spoon, scoop a grape-half into each cookie depression, being sure to add a little of the jam as well.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden along the edges and the top.
Cool on the cookie sheet and enjoy—kind of, as they’re not that great.