United States: Apees

Apees (also known as A.P. or apeas) are a spiced butter cookie of German origins that are popular in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Dutch country.

History has is that the cookies got their name from the fact that they were a form of Anis Platchen (anise cookies) and they were stamped with A.P. on top of them to distinguish them from cookies made with carraway which were known as "seed cakes".

There were many bakers selling these on the streets in Philadelphia, and one of the most popular was Ann Page. Very quickly, the A.P. stamped on the cookies became associated with Ann Page. 

Original Apees Recipe (circa 1828)

"A pound of flour, sifted.
Half a pound of butter.
A glass of wine, and a tablespoonful of rose-water, mixed.
Half a pound of powdered white sugar.
A nutmeg, grated.
A tea-spoonful of beaten cinnamon and mace.
Three table-spoonfuls of carraway seeds.

Sift the flour into a broad pan, and cut up the butter in it. Add the carraways, sugar, and spice, and pour in the liquor by degrees, mixing it well with a knife. If the liquor is not sufficient to wet it thoroughly, add enough of cold water to make it a stiff dough.

Spread some flour on your paste-board, take out the dough, and knead it very well with your hands. Put it into small pieces, and knead each separately, then put them all together, and knead the whole in one lump.

Roll it out in a sheet about a quarter if an inch thick. Cut it out in round cakes, with the edge of a tumbler, or a tin of that size. Butter an iron pan, and lay the cakes in it, not too close together. Bake them a few minutes in a moderate oven, till they are very slightly coloured, but not brown. If too much baked, they will entirely lose their flavor. Do not roll them out too thin."


Anonymous said...

Problem: The history says that they were possibly named after anise, but there's no anise in the recipe. Also, if they are to be distinguished from carraway or "seed cakes" why is there carraway in the apees recipe? Something doesn't seem right here.

Anonymous said...

For one, I think American cookies are more known to be chocolate chip cookies. This article is supposed to represent the ENTIRE country. Not just a state or two. I have never heard of these cookies and "America's Favorite cookies" are mostly Oreo's or chocolate chip.

Chef Mom said...

Thanks for your comment. You can find chocolate chip cookies (aka Toll House cookies) here: http://globalcookies.blogspot.com/2007/10/united-states-nestle-toll-house-cookies.html