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I just, out of nowhere, remembered cookies I used to regularly make and I need help identifying what they were. I hope this is an actual memory and I'm not imagining things.

The cookies in question were definitely home-made, because I remember eating them still warm. They had a hard, crumbly shell and were completly hollow inside, but not so crumbly as to loose their shape when held in hand. They were circle shaped and puffed during the cooking process. They were served always with powdered sugar on top. I'm not sure about this, but they might've been fried, not baked. I think they tasted a bit like Faworki/Raderkuchen (I can't find an English word for it), but less fat. The recipe was definitely simple with just few ingredients, unless I'm misremembering me making this and it was someone in my family. Unfortunatelly, I don't have any contact with my family so I cannot ask.

Does anyone has any idea what those cookies might be called and how to make them?

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  • As you say that they might have been fried - are you certain that they were cookies, or might they have been some other pastry, e.g. beignets?
    – rumtscho
    May 24 at 20:28
  • @rumtscho frying is just a guess, but I strongly remember the shell being hard, crunchy and layered in sheets. So no, definitelly not. The shell looked a bit like an inside of a croisant, but with much tiner air gaps. And despite having a distinct air pocket inside, they were still very thin. May 24 at 20:32

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These might have been Grantham Gingerbread. This is one of England's oldest biscuit (Americans would call it a cookie) recipes, first recorded in the 1700's.

These are a plain sugar biscuit, usually flavoured with ginger, but you can leave this out and/or flavour with other spices. The biscuit/cookie that rises during cooking to produce a firm shell and hollow inside. They are usually not completely hollow, just mostly hollow with some pillars of batter supporting the roof.

A good recipe that I have been using is from the BBC, but pretty much all the recipes on-line are the same, with minor variations. They are made with only a few ingredients and are quite easy to make.

Edited to add: I've never seen them with powdered sugar on top and they are definitely baked and have a firm shell that doesn't crumble.

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    This looks like a promising lead. The only difference between the pictures and my memory is that i remember the tops not having any cracks, but that might be just my memory. I need to try the recipe and see if the taste matches what I remember. May 24 at 22:22
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    I just made those and I'm not sure. They don't taste the same as I remember but there ae many reasons why that might be. It seems that the base of "butter + sugar + self-rising flour + egg" in those proportions are a good place to start experimenting. They came out great anyway, May 30 at 15:28
  • @ReverentLapwing thanks for having a go and getting back on this topic. Granthams are a big favourite in my family for the crunch and internal texture. You might consider putting the ball stage in the fridge for 30 min or so before baking, to keep it more rounded so that it rises higher.
    – bob1
    May 30 at 20:33

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