You never know what you’re going to find when you look through really old cookbooks. This time the recipe is pretty normal … but the name. Are you kidding me? Did they not know what that sounded like?
If you don’t believe me, here’s a picture of the original recipe in the Ohio State Grange cookbook.
Name aside, how are they? I like them, but you should understand that I don’t like things as sweet as most people seem to. That’s why I rarely eat candy or pastries. When someone brings bagels, while everyone else fights over the cinnamon-raisin I’m going for the onion or pumpernickel.
So these are less sweet than most modern cookie recipes. Which, it turns out, is just how I like it.
Let the butter come to room temperature, then add the brown sugar and mash it together with your hands.
My wife says this is therapeutic.
Add the baking soda, vanilla and eggs.
And do a little more therapy.
I swear, you should have seen how much fun she had doing this.
Add the flour.
By this time her hands were so sticky I had to help out with the flour. Keep mixing until all the flour is incorporated.
This is, apparently, more soothing than playing with Play Doh™. She already wants to make them again. I’m afraid she might be developing a cocanes habit.
Ba-dump-bump. (Sorry, I’ve been holding that pun for the last ten minutes and couldn’t keep it in any longer. I apologize to anyone who doesn’t think drug references are funny. Spoilsport.)
Dust the counter or cutting board with flour.
Dust the rolling pin, too, or the dough will stick to it like glue.
Roll out about a quarter-inch thick and cut with cookie cutters.
Arrange on an ungreased baking sheet.
Give them a little room, but they rise more than they spread, so you don’t need to space them out like you would chocolate chip or other kinds of drop cookies.
You can leave them plain, and they’ll come out looking like gingerbread, or brush with a little milk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake at 350° until they are browned on the bottom and not too soft in the middle — about 10-12 minutes.
And that’s it.
Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.