Trick or Treat! Soul Cakes have an interesting Halloween related history dating back hundreds of years ago – watch my video on Curiosity Stream’s Instagram to find out more. (While you’re at it – sign up for 30 days FREE ALL ACCESS to Curiosity Stream with promo code Nathan!)
Yield: 17 cookies
1 cup (140 grams) black currants
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
14 tablespoons (197 grams) (cold) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
1 packed cup (200 grams) light brown sugar
3¼ cups (450 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons whole milk
Place an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper.
Add currants and Grand Mariner together in a small bowl. Stir well. Set aside.
Add butter and sugar to a stand mixer and mix on medium using the paddle attachment for approximately 10 minutes, until light (in color) and fluffy, scraping the sides down of the inside of the bowl using a rubber spatula halfway through the process.
Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
After mixing the butter and sugar, add 1 egg yolk. Mix on medium-low until the egg fully incorporates into the mixture, approximately 20 seconds. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides down. Add the second egg yolk and mix until it fully incorporates. Scrape the sides again and then add the third egg yolk. Scrape the sides down once more.
Add the Grand Marnier soaked currants (and any liquid left in the bowl) and mix on medium until it’s incorporated, approximately 10 seconds.
Turn off mixer and add the flour mixture. Mix on low until the dough begins to resemble clumpy sand, approximately 30 seconds. Sprinkle the milk evenly over the dough. Mix on low until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, approximately 15 seconds. The finished dough will have a play dough consistency.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to ½-inch thickness.
Using a 2¾ inch biscuit cutter, punch out as many circles as you can. Reroll dough and continue punching out soul cakes until no more dough remains. Using a kitchen knife or a bench scraper, impress an X shape atop each soul cake.
Evenly space 8 soul cakes on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Place the additional 9 on the second parchment-lined sheet tray.
Bake, one sheet tray at a time, for approximately 7 minutes. Rotate tray and continue baking another 8 minutes, until bottom edges are slightly browned.
Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
Soul cakes are best served day of, but may be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.