Cookbook #236: The Cook’s Book, K C Baking Powder, Jaques Manufacturing Co., Chicago, 1935.
“In the light of scientific knowledge, cakes are no longer considered too rich for daily consumption; in fact, cake is now known to be an exceedingly well balanced food product.” Here is the statement as printed:
Can I go back to 1935? I want my cake, and to have it good for me too!
The Cook’s Book, K C Baking Powder is from the “old books” section of my shelves. It is in perfect condition! And it is older than I am! It was either my mother’s or my grandmother’s cookbook. Stunning nostalgia:
This book is all about how to use baking powder in recipes for cakes, cookies, and breads. I talked about baking powder and how it works In my post on the 1917 Ryzon Baking Book. Ryzon was a brand of baking powder sold for a short period around 1917. According to the Clabber Girl website, “KC Baking Powder was originally manufactured by the Jacques Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Illinois before the brand was purchased by the Clabber Girl Corporation in 1950.” Clabber Girl is the brand of baking powder I currently have in my kitchen.
In 1935, “wholesome foods” were important to the consumer:
How much did a can of K C baking powder cost?
Jaques Manufacturing Company was given the Distinguished Service Award.
Note the KC guarantee statement at the bottom of the page below, “An independent manufacturer. Not a member of any food combine.”
The recipes in The Cook’s Book are modern enough to follow in my own kitchen in 2018. A surprise (to me) is that they often include the ounces of ingredients as well as the volume. Sometimes they leave off the oven temperature and time or the exact size of pan, but I can live with that. Here are some recipe examples:
“K C Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings” is what I decide to make for this blog.
This is about the only recipe in this book that doesn’t have sugar in the dough/batter! I decide to try whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour. Other recipes in this book (but not this one) call for “entire wheat”. Entire wheat flour is wheat flour made from the whole grain, what we now know as “whole wheat flour”. Whole wheat flour has the same number of calories but a significantly lower glycemic index than white wheat flour. Briefly, the glycemic index of a food reflects how fast a carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in the body. Level sugar levels are (currently) the advice of nutritionists. Both white and whole wheat flours have the same number of calories, but the whole wheat flour has less of a tendency to cause blood sugar spikes. Sugar has the highest glycemic index of all. Since we are low-carb-ing and not no-carb-ing, we eat some bread, and whole wheat is our wheat flour of choice at the moment. I am (sadly) frowning on sugar, so I’ll use just a touch of sugar and a little no-calorie sweetener to make this qualify as a dessert. I’ll skip the suggested hard sauce made with butter and sugar.
How long and at what temperature should I bake these? The recipe doesn’t specify. Online, I found a similar recipe for apple dumplings, and they bake them at 400˚ for 50-60 minutes. I know my oven, and I think I’ll try 375˚ and check them starting at 40 minutes.
Note: I have a better recipe for Apple Dumplings, one from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I didn’t realize I’d made these before!
- 1 cup flour (don’t use whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons shortening (vegetable shortening or butter)
- about 1/2 cup milk
- 2 apples, peeled and cored (I found my old apple-corer!)
- cinnamon and sugar for the inside of the apples
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; work in the shortening and mix to a dough with the milk. If necessary to make a soft dough that holds together, add more a bit more milk.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each half to a square one-third inch thick. Put an apple on each square and fill the apples with cinnamon and sugar to taste. Draw the dough up to cover each apple and make it smooth.
Bake in a lightly butter pan at 375˚ for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
These tasted good, but only healthy-good. We split one dumpling for dessert, topped with cool whip, and ate every morsel. We were very hungry! I’d say, my way with whole wheat flour is just not as good as a white flour and apples full of butter and sugar with lots of hard sauce. If you are going to have dessert, have dessert. I would not make these apple dumplings this way again.
I suggest using white flour in this recipe, and putting more goodies in the apple cores, like butter and lots of sugar, and serving them with the hard sauce or rich ice cream. Desserts are, after all, meant to be overindulgence. In this I will have to disagree with The Cook’s Book. I have learned that I can’t eat cake made with flour, sugar, eggs, and butter every day or I will gain weight and the health care professionals will say that I am not healthy. Maybe in another 78 years (The Cook’s Book is 78 years old), it will be a different story for the human population.
The last page in The Cook’s Book. A chemistry lab!