250 Cookbooks: Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook

Cookbook #204: Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook, Ideals Publishing Corp., Nashville, Tennessee, 1982.

Hershey's Chocolate CookbookThis is one of four Hershey’s cookbooks in my cookbook database. I can’t find the publication date anywhere in my copy, but online photos and details of the same book on Amazon claim “1982” as the date.

This Hershey’s cookbook was a gift to my mother from my aunt in 1993.

note in bookMother did not mark any of the recipes! This is unusual for her, especially for cookie, pie, and cake recipes, which include all of the recipes in this cookbook.

Many recipes in this cookbook include Reese’s® peanut butter chips. Kind of odd, for a “chocolate” cookbook. Maybe this product was newly on the market in 1982? Because of this ingredient, not every recipe in this cookbook has chocolate in it, which is disappointing! I find that “Reese’s” is (to this day) one of the Hershey brand names. Hmm. This make this a “brand name” cookbook.

As I page through this book today, I find a favorite old cookie recipe: Peanut Blossoms. Chocolate Drop Cookies sound good, but I have a similar recipe. I might like Macaroon Kiss Cookies, Crunchy Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Cookies, and Chewy Chocolate Wafers.

The pie and cake recipes all look good. Cocoa Chiffon-Cloud Pie is one I’ll save, since I once had a yearning for a chocolate chiffon pie and couldn’t find a recipe. Chocolate-Butterscotch Pie with Macaroon Nut Crust and Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, yum. I find “Red Velvet Cocoa Cake”, a recipe I once searched for ( I ended up developing my own recipe for this cake, baked at high altitude). Chocolate Fudge Cake? Who wouldn’t want that? Orange-Kissed Chocolate Cupcakes, where you take a section out of the top of a chocolate cupcake, fill it with orange cream, and top with a Hershey’s Kiss, yum again. In a perfect world, I’d be making and eating desserts like this every night of the week. But alas, it’s not a perfect world.

Since Mother didn’t mark any recipes and I simply don’t need more rich dessert recipes, I’ll scan in a few recipes, and then recycle the cookbook. I have kept Hershey’s 1934 Cookbook and Hershey’s Cocoa Cookbook for references to basic chocolate recipes, like brownies, fudge, homemade chocolate syrup, and hot fudge sauce.

I decide to make Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies for this blog. Cookies are always nice for our two-person household because the dough and/or cookies can be frozen so the we don’t have to eat them all up at once. This recipe includes a shortcut for the home cook: you can make up “Basic Cookie Mix” and then use it to make five different kinds of cookies. (Later on in this chapter, there is a Chocolate Cookie Mix to compliment the Basic Cookie Mix.)

Basic CookiesBasic CookiesI’m not sure I’ll always want to make “cookie mix” and then the cookies, so I made a half recipe of the mix, then measured it. It made enough for two different types (or batches) of cookies.

Basic Cookie Mix
makes 5 cups of cookie mix, if lightly patted down

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter

Place the flour, the two sugars, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times. Divide the shortening and butter into chunks and scatter across the dry mixture. Cover the processor and pulse 10-20 times, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups basic cookie mix, lightly patted into the measuring cups
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or a bit more if needed; I think I used about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, well-drained maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 15 halved maraschino cherries, well drained

Stir the basic cookie mix whit the sour cream, cherries, and chocolate chips. Shape into 1-inch balls, then roll in the nuts.

Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Garnish each cookie with a cherry half. Bake at 375˚ for 12-15 minutes.

Cherry Chocolate Chip CookiesWow, were these ever good! Very, very tender. I realized as I made the dough that this is how I make pie crust, by first combining the flour-sugar and shortening, then blending in the wet ingredients. Usually cookies are made by combining the sugar and shortening and any wet ingredients, then adding the dry ingredients. The result of the “Basic Cookie Dough” method is that the cookies taste tender, like pie crust.

I learned how to make a very good cookie! There is always something new to learn.

250 Cookbooks: Boston Cooking-School Cook Book

Cookbook #200: Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, F. M. Farmer, Little, Brown, & Co., Boston, 1906 edition, perhaps the 1911 revised printing.

Boston Cooking-School Cook BookThe Boston Cooking-School Cook Book is my second-oldest cookbook. It was published in 1906! I hold it in my hands in amazement. The pages are a little brittle, and some of them are falling out, but it’s in pretty good condition, considering. I obtained this book from the Ruth C. Vandenhoudt house when I was in my teens. Ruth had carefully jacketed the front and back covers with canvas cloth, hand sewing the flaps to keep the cover in good condition. I just discovered the good condition of the uncovered book this week, as I gingerly pulled the jacket off the front cover to reveal the 111 year old cover in near-perfect condition (see photo above). Here is how she jacketed the cover:

jacket

Fannie Merritt Farmer is the author of my 1906 edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. I learned about Fannie Farmer when I covered my 1965 Fannie Farmer Cookbook: “Fannie Farmer, born in 1857, was raised in a family that valued education, but could not attend school because of a crippling illness as a teen. So she started cooking at a boarding house at her parents home. Her interest in cooking took her to the Boston Cooking School, where she excelled as a student and eventually became school principal.” Please refer to my post on the Fannie Farmer Cookbook for my full discussion.

When was this book published?

My copy of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book is missing the title page – including the publication date. About 5 years ago, I put myself into “sleuth mode” to figure out when it was published. My first guess was “1936”, but no, F. M. Farmer is listed as the author of Boston Cooking-School Cook Book editions only up to 1918 (Wikipedia, Boston Cooking-School Cook Book). Thus, my book is the 1896, 1906, or the 1918 edition.

To my amazement, Google/HathiTrust has full text digital versions of the1896, 1906, and 1918 editions online. Each page of each book was digitized and uploaded to the “cloud” so that nerds like me can read the entire book. I spent quite a bit of time perusing these fascinating books, searching for clues to match the printed edition in my hands to the proper edition year.

Brownies and War, I find, are enough to narrow down my edition. Brownies as we know them – chocolate-y bar cookies – were first made in the early 1900s:

“The earliest-known published recipes for a modern style chocolate brownie appeared in the Home Cookery (1904, Laconia, NH), Service Club Cook Book (1904, Chicago, IL), The Boston Globe (April 2, 1905 p. 34), and the 1906 edition of Farmer cookbook. These recipes produced a relatively mild and cake-like brownie.” (Wikipedia, accessed 2017)

My copy of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book has a recipe for chocolate brownies on page 495. That narrows my edition to 1906 or 1918.

A careful read of the 1918 edition showed me that it has several references to war-time recipes (The Big One, or as we know it now, World War II). Here is an example:

coffee and war

My copy does not have this same text in the coffee section. Therefore, I have the 1906 edition.

As extra confirmation, when I access Wikipedia today (2017) I find a Boston Cooking-School Cook Book entry. The entry lists the number of pages in each edition:

  • 1st edition, 1896. 567 pp.
  • 2nd edition, 1906. 648 pp.
  • 3rd edition, 1918. 656 pp.

My copy has 648 pages, and this concurs with my prior research.

Each of the editions had revisions, for instance, the 1906 version that I found digitized online is noted as revised in 1911. Since I am missing the very first pages, I can’t be certain which revision (or which printing year) of the 1906 edition I have.

First sections of this book

Below is the dedication page. It is no longer attached to the book. Note Ruth C. Vanderhoudt’s signature. As to the printed dedication, I like the phrase “scientific cookery”.

dedication page

The next page prints this quote from “Ruskin”, probably John Ruskin, a “writer, art critic, draughtsman, watercolourist, social thinker” in the nineteenth century. I really like this quote.

quote

In her preface, Fanny Farmer writes: “During the last decade much time has been given by scientists to the study of foods and their dietetic value, and it is a subject which rightfully should demand much consideration from all. I certainly feel that the time is not far distant when a knowledge of the principles of diet will be an essential part of one’s education. Then mankind will eat to live, will be able to do better mental and physical work, and disease will be less frequent.”

Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, 1906, is so special to me that I decide to go through the entire book. This may take a few weeks!

Chapter 1: Food

“Food is anything which nourishes the body.” I can tell from her discussion of the nutritive values of different foods shows that there was a good knowledge in 1906 of nutritive value of different types of foods. Listed are proteins (she spells protein “proteid”), carbohydrates, fats and oils, mineral matter, and water. The “daily average ration of an adult requires”:

4 1/2 oz. proteid
2 oz. fat
18 oz. starch
5 pints water

4.5 ounces of protein is 126 grams. My guess is that the protein value of a food is measured experimentally today, and her 4.5 ounces means a 4.5 ounce amount of a mostly-protein food, such as a steak.

The next sections of this chapter discuss water, salts, starch, sugar, gum, pectose, and cellulose, fats and oil, milk, butter, cheese, fruits, vegetable acids (acetic, tartaric, malic, citric, and oxalic), condiments (black pepper, cayenne pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, vinegar, capers [capers in the US in 1906!], and horseradish), and flavoring extracts (vanilla, almond, and lemon). I revel in the chemical knowledge of this early twentieth century woman:

“Starch is a white, glistening powder; it is largely distributed throughout the vegetable kingdom, being found most abundantly in cereals and potatoes.”

And then she give a chemical test for starch:

“A weak solution of iodine added to cold cooked starch gives an intense blue color.”

We used potassium-iodide test paper strips in the CU Organic Chemistry Teaching labs! I also like her comment on condiments:

“Condiments are not classed among foods, but are food adjuncts. They are made to stimulate the appetite by adding flavor to food.”

A big class of today’s “necessary nutrients” is not listed in this book: vitamins. What the heck, didn’t they know about vitamins in 1906? This here chemist is surprised to find that the first vitamin – vitamin A – was discovered in 1913. (Wikipedia, accessed 2017.) And this from my own blog on a 1928 cookbook describing “vitamines”: Salads, Vegetables and the Market Basket.

The book is illustrated with black and white photos. Here is the photo at the end of chapter 1:

black and white photo

Chapter 2: Cookery

“Cookery is the art of preparing food for the nourishment of the body. Prehistoric man may have lived on uncooked foods, but there are no savage races to-day who do not practise cookery in some way, however crude. Progress in civilization has been accompanied by progress in cookery.”

In 1906, cooking fuels included: kerosene, gas, wood, charcoal, and coal. (Gas ranges using piped gas were only limitedly available.) “Fire for cookery is confined in a stove or range, so that heat may be utilized and regulated.” “How to build a fire” is described in detail: Layer paper, small sticks or pine wood, hard wood, and then two shovelfuls of coal. Cover, and “strike with a match – sufficient friction is formed to burn the phosphorus, this in turn lights the sulphur, and the sulphur the wood – then aply the lighted match under the grate, and you have a fire.” The temperature of the fire is controlled with dampers.

Comment: Fannie Farmer really impresses me! She even tells us how matches work! As a woman career scientist, I love reading the work of women who came before me. I describe her writing style as “friendly scientific”.

The Cookery chapter continues ways of cooking, such as boiling, broiling, baking, braising, and frying. “How to bone a bird” and “how to measure”: teaspooons and tablespoons and measuring cups of regulation sizes were available, and she encourages their use: “Good judgment [sic], with experience, has haught some to maasure by sight; but the majority need definite guides.” Food is packed in ice to preserve it, or by a machine where compressed gas is cooled and then permitted to expand.” That’s a refrigerator she is describing. In 1906, many ways of preserving foods were used, including refrigeration, canning, sugar, drying, evaporation, salting, smoking, pickling, and packing in oil.

And more . . .

I have spent weeks on this already and have decided to publish the entry, but continue to add to it as time goes on. I have 50 more cookbooks to get through!

250 Cookbooks: Knudsen Recipes

Cookbook #199: Knudsen Recipes, Knudsen, Knudsen Creamery Co. of California, 1955.

Knudsen RecipesThis is the second “Knudsen Recipes” cookbooklet that I have covered. I didn’t much like the recipes in the first one I covered, the 1953 version. In fact, I couldn’t find a single recipe to try in that version! This one is a lot better. I’ll give some examples below.

But first, a review. “Knudsen” is a California dairy product company, currently owned by Kraft Foods. Knudsen-brand products are still available in California and even in some of my local supermarkets here in Colorado. In 1955, they were quite proud of their high quality and modern research facilities. Note the illustration below. A chemist (male, of course) holding a round bottom flask with a claisen adaptor and a distillation apparatus.

inner coverFacing the page of the male chemist is a photo of the cook (female, of course) using a Knudsen product. Note: “For the young bride whose kitchen ‘know how’ begins and ends with frying an egg . . . “. And this is good too: “Here you will find colorful photographs showing how to make foods more appetizing and table settings more attractive.”

first page

Knudsen Recipes begins with recipes for appetizers. I kind of like” Smoked Salmon Spread”, with salmon, cream cheese, sour cream, and onion. It would be good with crackers or small toasts. My mother put a check by several recipes in this chapter – dips for parties and other get-togethers were quite popular in our home. Most of the Knudsen dips are made from cream cheese, sour cream, maybe cottage cheese, and then canned shrimp, tuna, crab, or bacon. Most sound “okay”. (Except the dip made with cottage cheese, Bleu cheese, sour cream, olives, and peanuts. I’d never make that one.)

Dessert recipes come next. I like the recipe for “Chocolate Cream Cookies” (with sour cream) and Cream-Orange Drops (with cream cheese).

page 9

There is a cup cake recipe with cottage cheese in the batter I might like to try. “Boston Brown Betty” is an apple-crisp type of dessert with cream cheese and graham crackers – sounds good. Mother tried the “Quick Raisin Pie”:

page 8

On to main dishes. “Liver Loaf” with liver, salt pork, bread crumbs, and cottage cheese doesn’t sound good to me, but it illustrates how popular organ meats used to be. The page below illustrates some of the main dishes: canned macaroni and cheese with milk, cottage cheese and hamburger;  stroganoff with cottage cheese and cream cheese rather than sour cream; a shrimp dish with canned shrimp.

page 23The “Crab and Shrimp Bake” (below) is made with cooked shrimp “cut in bits’ and crab meat, cottage cheese, sour cream, celery and onion and green pepper, and potato chips. I don’t know, does it sound good to you? I do think I’d probably like the “Chicken-Noodle Mix”.page 19

Below is another page of main dish recipes. Note the “Baked Potato” recipe. Haven’t seen this recipe for awhile – baked potatoes with sour cream and chives. That was always a standard at our house and was often offered at restaurants. In fact, when they’d ask if we wanted butter or sour cream and chives, we’d say “both”. I think we sometimes made a mix of butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and chives (or green onions) to put over baked potatoes.

page 34

In the middle of the book is a page of menus for the family and entertaining (typical 50s “the woman belongs in the home” slant). Next is a section on dieting:

page 42

The next page is “Menus for reducing”. Example, for lunch, you get 6 celery rings (celery with Bleu cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream), a small glass of buttermilk, one soda cracker, 1/2 teaspoon of butter, one cookie, and coffee with half-and-half. Egads! you could skip the silly single soda cracker and the sugary cookie and have something whole grain instead, and put skim milk in your coffee! Where is the protein, except in the milk products? And note the low-calorie recipes at the bottom of the page, with the 243 calorie peanut butter pudding (vanilla pudding mix, peanut butter, and cottage cheese).

page 43I like this excerpt below: “But first, you must learn the language of calories, a language anyone can pick up quickly.”

page 44

One more comment on this dieting section. I would have thought that yogurt would be in a dieting plan. But no recipes in the book include yogurt, although it is included with the Knudsen products on the back cover:

back cover

After the menu planning and dieting sections, Knudsen Recipes goes to salad recipes: molded salads with cream cheese and cottage cheese and fruit, avodados with cottage cheese, broccoli with cream cheese. Not many of these recipes interest me, other than as nostalgia.

I like the page below for two reasons. For one, I like the illustration of the housewife. For two, I like the table of “oven temperatures”. Many times I have run across a recipe in an older cookbook that says simply “cook in a hot oven” or the like. This table will help me convert old recipes to current oven settings.

page 62

If you would like to see more of this cookbook for yourself, I found a digitized copy of this book on the HathiTrust.org site: the record and the full digitized view.

I decide to make “Chocolate Cream Cookies” for this blog. The scan of the original recipe is above in this blog, page 9. Below is my updated version of this recipe.

Chocolate Cream Cookies
about 6 dozen

  • 1/2 cup butter (I used salted butter)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream the butter and the sugar on high speed. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well mixed. Add the chocolate, and then the sour cream; mix in on medium speed. Combine the dry ingredients and add slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Add the nuts and mix in.

Drop dough from a teaspoon onto a baking sheet. (I used a sheet of parchment in my half-sheet pan.) Bake at 375˚ for 8-12 minutes.

Here are my cookies. I took them to share at my Lyons Garden Club meeting.

Chocolate Cream Cookies

These cookies are very good! Kind of a subtle chocolate-y flavor in a soft cookie. The sour cream does make these cookies stand out amongst all the other chocolate cookies I have made.

I baked the first batch as directed at 425˚ for 10 minutes. I could smell them burning and sure enough, the bottoms of this first batch were burned. I lowered the oven to 375˚ for 10 minutes for the rest of the cookies. I suggest peeking at the first batch at 8 minutes though, as all ovens vary a bit.

I made the dough for these and kept it in the refrigerator, making cookies “as needed”. As the original recipe states, you could probably freeze the dough with success.

250 Cookbooks: Baker’s Book of Chocolate Riches

Cookbook #175: Baker’s Book of Chocolate Riches, General Foods Corporation, Golden Press, NY, 1983 (second printing, 1985).

Baker's Book of Chocolate Riches cookbook

I have three Baker’s cookbooks on my shelves. In blog post #118, I enjoyed looking through the 1932 one, Baker’s Best Chocolate Recipes, largely because it is so old. My other Baker’s cookbook is Baker’s Chocolate and Coconut Favorites, 1977.

I once tried the brownie recipe in this 1985 Baker’s Book of Chocolate Riches, and the recipe is exactly the same as the 1932 version! Good recipes hold up for years.

Fudgy Brownies recipe

This 1985 Baker’s Book of Chocolate Riches is definitely a cookbook I will keep. I know that each cookie, pie, cake or dessert recipe would cook up great. It’s one of my go-to books for when I need a good dollop of chocolate.

For this blog, I decide to make Crackle-Top Cookies. I’ll keep a few at home, but take most to a potluck meeting I have tonight. (Along with a bottle of wine, what is better than chocolate and wine!)

Crackle-Top Cookies recipeThis recipe is very similar to my recipe for Chocolate Chews. The differences are that this recipe has less flour, adds cinnamon, uses brown sugar instead of white, and has more nuts. Plus the baking time: these are cooked 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes.

Crackle Top Cookies
makes about 5 dozen

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup chopped nuts
  • powdered sugar

Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Beat the shortening with a mixer, then beat in the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, then stir in the chocolate and mix well.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating after each addition until smooth. Stir in nuts.

Chill a few hours in the refrigerator. Shape into 1-inch balls, then roll each in powdered sugar. Bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes if you like chewy cookies, or 20 minutes if you like crisp cookies. (My recommendation is 10 minutes.)

Crackle Top CookiesThese are excellent! I cooked the first batches 20 minutes, and I thought they were too crisp. The last batch I cooked only 10 minutes, and they were soft and chewy. We like the soft and chewy ones a lot better!

250 Cookbooks: Menu Magic in a Nutshell

Cookbook #170: Menu Magic in a Nutshell, Diamond Walnuts, California Walnut Growers Association, 1950.

Menu Magic Diamond Walnuts cookbook

I have to admit something: the photo above is not mine. The cover on my booklet is missing, but I found the above photo online. This booklet is currently sold on the Etsy site for $12. The seller claims the book was published in 1950, and authored by cook(s) at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Who buys these old booklets? Vintage books are used in scrapbooking or decoupage. Or maybe someone lost their old copy, or simply like walnut recipes!

My mother liked walnuts This was her booklet, and I think she used it a lot. You can see how beat up the first page is:

Menu Magic in a Nutshell

It’s fun to read, isn’t it? Note it refers to the name “Diamond” branded on each nutshell. It took me a moment to remember: walnuts used to be available only in the shell. We used to spend hours shelling walnuts for Mother. In California, you could even pick your own walnuts off the trees, still in the soft skin that covered the hard shell. One birthday or Mother’s Day, us kids picked a whole bunch and shelled them all for Mother. By the time they were shelled and wrapped as a present and opened on the special day, the entire lot was wormy. Boy, that’s an old memory.

Today I buy shelled walnuts in bulk or bags. I always have some in the freezer, ready to add to muffins and breads, salads and desserts.

Let’s see what this vintage cookbook has to offer. Mixed Fruit and Walnut Salad has pineapple, dates, orange, banana, grapes, and walnuts, and is served over lettuce. Sounds pretty good to me. Diamond Chicken Salad adds walnuts to chicken, celery and mayonnaise salad. Yummy. There are several molded salads that were so popular in the 50s and 60s. Desserts are next: Brown Betty, Apple Walnut Tapioca, Raisin Walnut Pie, Walnut Peach Shortcake, Apricot Caramel Shortcake, Danish Apple Pudding, and Apple Crumb Pie all sound good. Mother marked “Prune Whip” as “good“. (Prune Whip is a meringue dessert with stewed prunes and walnuts.) She also liked Walnut Sticks, a bar cookie made with brown sugar, eggs, and walnuts. Just about all of the cookies and cakes look good to me!

Main courses? You can include walnuts with apples and sweet potatoes, or walnuts in turkey dressing, or in meatballs. The meatless walnut loaves do not appeal to me, though. Finally, candies: Divinity (Mother marked it “good”), Uncooked Fudge, and Sugared Walnuts. Looks like I’m missing pages 23-30. Sad, because the index tells me those pages included the bread recipes.

Well, I guess I’m going to have to keep this little “cookbook”. Maybe I’ll find the rest of this booklet someday.

For this blog, I choose to make Ice Box Cookies. I like refrigerator cookies because I can always have them on hand to bake up fresh, and I can bake just a few at a time. Mother marked this recipe with her notes, so I know they are “Good”!

Ice Box Cookies recipe

I like brown sugar, so I am going to up the amount of brown sugar and decrease the amount of white sugar. Mother noted, and then crossed out, that there is too much flour in this recipe. I’ll add the flour very gradually and use the mixer to combine it in.

Ice Box Cookies
makes about 4 dozen

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Cream the shortening and sugars for several minutes. Add the egg and beat in well. Mix in the walnuts and vanilla.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add gradually to the creamed mixture. (Do not add all of the flour mixture if the dough no longer holds together.) Remove from the mixing bowl and, with your hands, press the dough into one solid mass, then form it into a couple 1 1/2-inch logs. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 48 hours.

Cut into 1/8-inch slices and bake 7 minutes at 425˚.

Comments

My dough was too dry. I should have paid attention to my mother’s first note. In Colorado, I know from long experience that flour is very dry here. Next time I’ll use 1/4 cup less flour, though. They were kind of crumbly to slice before baking.

But are they good?

Ice Box CookiesYes! These are sweet, crisp, and tasty. I had one, and wanted more!

250 Cookbooks: Land O Lakes Cookie Collection

Cookbook #165: Land O Lakes Cookie Collection, Favorite Recipes™ Magazine, Publications International, 1990.

Land O Lakes Cookie Collection cookbook

Cookies, more cookies! Do I really need another cookie recipe? Well no, but just can’t resist.

This cookbook-magazine was published in December 1990. I am sure I was planning my Christmas cookie selection for that year, standing in the grocery line and looking for something to read, and it caught my eye and my interest. Only $2.50! So I put it in my cart and took it home.

Favorite Recipes™ magazine published recipes for various brand names: Best Foods and Karo Syrup are two examples revealed by a google search. Land O Lakes is currently a co-op for milk products and eggs. This little 1990 cookbook, though, is all about butter – butter in each and every recipe. I used to use margarine in cookies, thinking it prevented them from spreading out too much on baking. These days, I much prefer natural butter, and am adapting my current margarine recipes to butter instead. So, Land O Lakes Cookie Collection is of more interest to me in 2016 than it was in 1990.

Today I can buy this booklet online for $1.49! Guess I could have saved myself a little money by waiting.

I don’t think I ever tried any of these recipes. None of the recipes look familiar, and there are no markings, no food stains. There are about 100 recipes in this book, and most of them look pretty good. Drop cookies, bars, fancy cookies, they are all here. I’d love to eat them all, but that old friend/enemy, calories, lurks in every recipe.

I decide to try “Coconut Snowdrops” for this blog. These are simple drop cookies with lots of butter and coconut.

Coconut Snowdrops Recipe

The recipe says you can put everything in a mixer bowl in one step. I am in the habit of mixing the butter and sugar, beating in the eggs, and then adding the flour last, so that’s how I made these.

Coconut Snowdrops
makes about 3 dozen

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling

Beat the butter with the sugar, then add the egg, milk, and vanilla and beat again. Slowly mix in the flour and coconut until incorporated.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet. (I rolled the dough between my hands to form round balls, but that is optional.) Bake at 350˚ for about 15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Coconut SnowdropsThese are excellent cookies! Soft and rich, but not too sweet. We all liked them, and they disappeared in a hurry!

I will keep this little cookbook and try another recipe someday. I do like the butter-y-ness of these cookies. And it might help me convert some margarine-based recipes to butter instead.

250 Cookbooks: Recipes for a Small Planet

Cookbook #152: Recipes for a Small Planet, Ellen Buchman Ewald, Ballantine Books, NY, 1973.

Recipes for a Small Planet

“If you are already complaining that your don’t want to spend an extra minute in the kitchen, read no further.” So writes Ewald in her introduction to Recipes for a Small Planet. That could be the intro line for this-here blog of mine!

This book goes hand-in-hand with Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Lappé, a book I covered in a previous post. Recipes for a Small Planet provides hundreds of recipes for high protein meatless cooking – combining different vegetables (with dairy) to get complete or complementary proteins, while Diet for a Small Planet focuses mainly on the theory behind the method. (Since Lappé’s book was published, the research her “complementary proteins” is based on has been disputed. Read the Diet post for details.)

The two women, Ellen Ewald and Frances Lappé – or “Frankie”, as Ellen calls her – were close friends. Lappé writes in the Diet for a Small Planet introduction:

“The fun of writing this book was increased immeasurably by the aid and encouragement of friends. First I must thank the person who created the delicious dinner that introduced me to the pleasures of eating without meat – Ellen Ewald. After dinner I went through her kitchen asking: What’s this? What’s that? And she sent me home with a variety of samples – soy grits, whole oats, buckweeat groats, bulgur – all these strange sounding foods which are really amount the most common foods in the world! Ellen is also the person you  can thank for many of the appetizing redipes you’ll find later in the book. Her help made compiling the recipes an adventure.”

Ellen Ewald’s preface reads:

“If we all took a little time to nourish our bodies in the best way possible (instead of in the quickest way), life could be long and healthy. If we choose to disregard the importance of what is in the food we eat, we may as well disregard the importance of having clean air to breathe. (But it should be obvious to all of us that most industries, including the food industry, consider profit before they consider air polution and the internal polution of our bodies.)”

“Food industry”. Unless we have our own gardens, we are dependent on it, for better or worse.

The recipes in this book tend to have long lists of ingredients. Yes, Ellen Ewald likes spending extra minutes in the kitchen! Each recipe is followed by a little box that shows us the “complete protein” combination. Note that hers is not a vegan diet; milk products and eggs are prevalent throughout the book.

The chapters are: breakfast, lunch, soups and stews, salads, dinners, breads, cookies and bars, desserts, and dairy drinks. Some of the recipes do not appeal to me at all: oatmeal soup (stock, milk, garlic, onions, rolled oats, tomatoes), barley and yogurt soup, cabbage soup, garbanzo stuffed cabbage, soybean stroganoff, and split peas in a cheese sauce over rice. I did find several recipes in the bread, dessert, and cookie sections that were more up my personal-taste alley.

My pantry is not stocked with the ingredients to make many of the recipes. Ewald relies heavily on soy beans. Soy products, once the darling of the vegetarian movement, have faded in popularity. It’s not too hard to find soy beans in local stores, and tofu, but soy grits or soy flour can require searching several natural foods markets or online sources.

I choose to make “Banana Spice Bars” for this blog.

Banana Spice Bars recipeI really don’t think these bars will be “light as cake”, not with the whole wheat flour and nuts and seeds to weigh it down. I couldn’t find soy grits, so I used 3 ounces of tofu.

There are 17 ingredients in these bars!

The box at the bottom of the above recipe lists the sources of protein in these bars. The eggs and buttermilk have complete protein on their own; the whole wheat flour and soy grits are complementary; the peanuts and sunflower seeds are complementary. I am making a half-recipe in a 9-inch pan; if I cut them into 9 bars, each will have 5 grams of usable protein.

Banana Spice Bars
makes one 9-inch pan

  • 3/4 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup honey (4 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or yogurt)
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)
  • 2 tablespoons soy grits OR 3 ounces tofu
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds

Put the bananas, egg, honey, oil, buttermilk and almond extract in a blender or food processor. If you are using tofu, add that too. Process until smooth.

Stir together the flour, soy grits (if you are using them), the spices, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and peanuts and sunflower seeds. Pour in the banana mixture and stir to combine (do not overmix).

Pour the batter into an oiled or non-stick-sprayed 9-inch pan. Bake at 350˚ 30-35 minutes, until they test done with a toothpick.

Banana Spice BarsTo my surprise, these really are light as cake! And delicious too! They fall into my personal classification as “healthy”: honey instead of sugar, whole wheat flour, very little oil, tofu, and nuts and seeds. A good snack for an active day.

I was going to recycle this cookbook, but this recipe turned out so well that I think I’ll keep it around and try a few other recipes.

250 Cookbooks: Best You Can Bake Chocolate Desserts

Cookbook #141: Best You Can Bake Chocolate Desserts, Better Homes and Gardens, The Nestle Co., Inc., 1983.

Best You Can Bake Chocolate Desserts cookbook

“Free with purchase of one 12-oz. bag of Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels” reads the text in a white burst on the front of this booklet. Another manufacturer’s advertising booklet. Who needs one more book of recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, desserts and candy? Not I. But it’s in my hands, and it was my mother’s . . . so I’ll find something to bake from it.

I am surprised to find the original recipe for Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies as the first recipe of this booklet. These are my “signature” cookies, and I wrote about them three years ago in December 2012. I wondered back then where I clipped the recipe – now I know that it might have been from the back of a bag of Nestlé chocolate chips! My recipe for these cookies has evolved from the original – I use more frosting to make them totally decadent.

It’s kind of cute how the chapters in this booklet are named: Celebrated Cookies, Classy Cakes and Pies, Festive Desserts, Cookies Especially for Kids, Sweet and Fancy Candy. I’ll keep this cookbook, heck, it doesn’t take up much space.

I decide to make “Oatmeal Chippers” for this blog. This recipe has a lot of oatmeal in it – twice as much oatmeal than flour. It has peanuts in it, different from my usual choice of walnuts for chocolate chip cookies. I can see a need for these cookies in my repertoire!

Oatmeal Chippers recipe

Oatmeal Chippers

  • 1/2 cup butter (salted is okay)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups oatmeal (the quick kind)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts (not dry roasted)

Beat the butter and shortening for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Stir together the flour and baking soda and then add this mixture to the beaten mixture. Beat until well blended. Stir in the oatmeal, chocolate chips, and peanuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking pans. (I always line my pans with parchment.) Bake at 375˚ for 8-10 minutes.

Oatmeal Chippers

These are delicious! The oatmeal gives these a light and crisp texture. And the peanuts and chocolate? Yum. A good change-of-pace chocolate chip cookie.

250 Cookbooks: 101 Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookbook #137: 101 Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gwen Steege, Storey Communications, Inc., Pownal, Vermont, 2000.

101 Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies cookbookI must have purchased this cookbook in a weak moment! The recipes are great, all of them. But calorie-laden. If you like chocolate chip cookies but are in a cookie-rut, it’s time to open this book and make a slightly different batch of these delights. Me? I love chocolate chip cookies, but I’ve only tried one so far from this cookbook: “Joyous Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

Who contributed the cookie recipes to this book? Well, they are the best recipes from entries to a contest in 1987 sponsored by The Orchards, an inn in western Massachusetts. Entries came from “almost every state, as well as from Italy, Canada, and Mexico”. So, the recipes were contributed by people like you and me. Each recipe has a note written by the person who sent it in. It’s a very friendly book.

And how can there be so many chocolate chip cookie variations? The chips can be chunks and can be of differents sizes or different chocolates (milk, semi-sweet, or bittersweet), or non-chocolate chips can be added to the mix. Flour can be white or whole wheat; a grain like oatmeal can be added. Butter, margarine, vegetable shortening or oil can be used. Different sweeteners are employed: brown or white sugar, honey, corn syrup, molasses. Peanut butter and nuts, fruits and vegetables are nutritious additions.

The first chapter of this book is a great reference for the effects of different oils and sugars on the texture of cookies. For beginners, it’s also a great reference for basic cookie mixing and baking techniques.

Gwen Steege published this and one other cookie book, and a book on gardening. She’s published lots of stuff on knitting.

I decide to make Apple Orchard Chocolate Chippers.

Apple Orchard Chocolate ChippersI used the maximum amount of flour and I did add nuts, and I changed the cooking temperature. I had my own apple butter to use in this recipe. Below is my version.

Apple Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 3 dozen

  • 1/2 cup butter (preferrably unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (use less if your butter is salted)
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • 1 medium apple, cored and grated
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream the butter and sugars, then add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add the apple butter and mix well.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the creamed mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips, apple, and walnuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 375˚ for about 12 minutes, or until they are beginning to brown.

Apple Nut Chocolate Chip CookiesThese are great! They are kind of cake-like, some said they even are like “muffin tops”. They definitely satisfy (or encourage) my sweet tooth.

250 Cookbooks: Forrest Gump™ My Favorite Chocolate Recipes

Cookbook #132: Forrest Gump™ My Favorite Chocolate Recipes, Oxmoor House, Inc., Birmingham, AL, 1995.

My Favorite Chocolate Recipes cookbool“Forrest Gump” was a cultural phenomenon in the 1990s. Probably most Americans of a certain age have seen the 1994 film, starred in by Tom Hanks as the slow but wise and likeable character Forrest Gump who bumbled through life with a Southern accent and a good attitude and lots of amazing adventures. I admit that it isn’t among my favorite flicks, so I am sort of surprised that I own this book. Maybe it was on sale? Dunno.

The book does not credit an author, but the copyright page credits Winston Groom as the author of the Southern-accented introductions to the recipes. Who is Winston Groom? Aha, the author of the novel, Forrest Gump. He also authored several other novels as well as history books.

The recipes are all chocolate and rich. I did use this book – chocolate stains on the pages! Chocolate, cream, butter, candy bars, nuts, sugar, ice cream, cream cheese . . . it’s hard not to make a good tasting dessert. But as I’ve stated before, these lovelies rarely fit into my diet plan. (Moderation, yes, is the answer, but it’s hard to adhere to.)

For this blog? I decide to make Triple-Decker Brownies. With a slight hint of nutrition from oatmeal and pecans, these will be a sweet treat for Halloween festivities, shared with my daughter’s family to spread the calories around. I am already looking forward to my first taste of these brownies!

Triple Decker Brownies
Triple Decker Brownies

Triple Decker Brownies, Forrest Gump™
makes 2 8×8-inch pans

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups toasted oatmeal (quick type; toast in dry pan on stovetop until fragrant)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted

Filling

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Frosting

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (sifted if it is clumpy)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup hot water

Crust: Combine oatmeal, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add the 3/4 cup melted butter and stir well. Press into two greased 8-inch square pans. Bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes.

Filling: Melt 2 ounces chocolate and 1/2 cup butter in a pan. Off heat, add sugar and eggs and mix well. Combine the 1 1/3 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and add to the chocolate mixture alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Spread over the baked crust. Bake at 350˚ for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Frosting: Melt 2 ounces chocolate and 1/4 cup butter in a pan. Off heat, stir in powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water. Stir in an additional 3 to 3 tablespoons water until frosting is desired spreading consistency. Spread on cooled brownies.

Triple Decker BrownieThese are sinfully good. I ate one and wanted more more more! Will I make them again? Only if I have help eating them!