How To… Make Your Very Own Bronze Age Cookie Hoard

What could be better than opening your cookie jar to find that it’s no longer filled with a boring bunch of hobnobs, but instead is brimming with your very own edible Bronze Age cookie hoard?!

One fine day, a couple of years ago, two metal detectorists made the find of a lifetime; a small Bronze Age hoard, consisting of a bronze tanged chisel and knife blade, concealed just beneath the surface of the hill near Morecambe Bay. Well, one thing lead to the other as they say, and with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, DigVentures’ community of archaeology-lovers crowdfunded an excavation at the site, which lead to some even more amazing discoveries, including a Bronze Age urn.

Inspired by the hoard, and by the later discovery of the urn, I decided to concoct something pretty marvelous… how to make your very own Bronze Age cookie hoard!

In this recipe, not only are the cookies in the shape of genuine Bronze Age artefacts, we’ve even added an extra archaeological flourish by using a few ingredients that archaeologists have genuinely found on Bronze Age sites… And they’re way more tasty than you might expect. Go on, give it a go!

Makes 10 cookies

You will need:

  • 90g flour (plain is fine, but you could use spelt or whole-wheat for some extra nutty flavour)
  • 50g soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 60g of your favourite seed-nut-fruit combo (see below)
  • Chocolate icing
  • White icing

1. Choose your artefacts and make your templates

Will it be spearheads or axes? Horse rings or torcs? We chose an assortment, a including a Bronze Age vessel, in honour of the urn we also found during this summer’s excavation.

2. Choose your special Bronze Age ingredients

Linseed, wild strawberries, raspberries, rose hips, rowan, violets, rye, honeysuckle, barley, blackberries, cloudberries, elderberries, apples, hazelnuts, walnuts, sweet chestnuts, honey, wheat flour are just a few of the super-tasty things that archaeologists have found on Bronze Age sites that can inspire your biscuit recipe. We used 60g of linseed, raspberries and hazelnut, but we reckon apple and sweet chestnut would be just as yummy!

3. Now get your butter out of the fridge and preheat your oven

Your butter needs to be nice and soft to mix in with all the other yummy ingredients, and your oven needs to be roaring at 180C/350F

4. Make your cookie mix

Mix the flour, butter, honey and your chosen seed-nut-fruit combo in a bowl until they are well combined. Then add just enough water that the dry mix makes dough.

5. Roll out your cookie mix and cut out your cookies

Place the dough between two sheets of greaseproof paper and roll it until thick as a pound coin. Using your premade templates as a guide, you can now cut out your Bronze Age biscuit shapes!

6. Pop ’em in the oven until they’re golden brown (or nicely bronzed!)

Place the cookies onto a baking tray lined with more greaseproof paper, pop them into the oven for about 10-15 minutes and watch the magic happen. As soon as they are golden brown (or nicely bronzed!) get them out and set them aside to cool

7. Get your icing (and your creative juices!) ready

While the biscuits are cooling, warm up your icing in a jug of warm water so that it is soft enough to use. Now it’s time to get creative and decorate your biscuits!

8. Decorate your torcs

We turned our circular cookies into torcs by making a ring of white icing, and then adding highlights with the chocolate icing to show how the metal is twisted into that iconic shape…

9. Decorate your vessels and your axe-heads

We decorated ours with a nice herringbone design, but you could also use rows of dots, criss-crosses or wavy lines, all of which have been found on Bronze Age vessels. For our axe heads, we used the icing to give the biscuits a bit of depth simply by adding the outlines and contours.

10. And there you have it… Your own edible Bronze Age cookie hoard!

Just don’t go burying it in the garden, they’re far too yummy to leave to future archaeologists!

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Martha Page

Written by Martha Page

Martha is a Field Archaeologist who just loves getting the word out about how great archaeology is. In her spare time, she's also a flintknapper, illustrator, book worm, bushcraft lover and foodie.

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