At one time soul cakes were given to peasants as they went door to door begging. This was the beginning of trick or treating.
The idea was that the “treat” was given to the beggar so that they would not play a trick or prank or worse, curse the homeowner. After receiving the cake, the beggars would say a prayer of thanks for the homeowner.
Two sticks butter
3 and 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 cup fine sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. each, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice
2 tsp. cider vinegar
4-6 Tbsp milk
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a large fork. Blend in the sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and allspice; beat eggs, vinegar, and milk together. Mix with the flour mixture until a stiff dough is formed. Knead thoroughly and roll out, 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch rounds and place on greased baking sheets. Prick several times with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar while still warm.