Friday, April 11, 2014

94. Cookies, No. 2

After my last post's disaster, I decided to try something that I am well versed at making: cookies.  Of course, until my last post I thought I was a pretty mean cake maker, so... although, this recipe seemed pretty easy and straightforward:

94. Cookies, No. 2.  "One cup of butter, well mixed with two and a half cups of sugar, three eggs, one cup of milk, one tea-spoonful of saleratus, salt and spices to your taste, flour enough to mould it."

Okay.  Deep breath.  I can do this.
"One cup of butter, well mixed with two and a half cups of sugar--"
I softened the butter ahead of time so that it was really easy to combine with the sugar.  I decreased the amount of sugar because it just seemed like too much (again).
It was easy to combine the sugar and butter together with the wooden spoon. 
"three eggs,"--One thing I realized, and that might have affected the last recipe I made, is that our commercial eggs available at the grocery store today are likely a good deal larger than farm fresh chicken eggs that would have been used back when this recipe was printed, so I reduced the amount of eggs that I used in this recipe. 

"one cup of milk,"--
"one tea-spoonful of saleratus, salt and spices to your taste, flour enough to mould it."

I mixed all of these together in a separate bowl, to ensure that the spices were evenly mixed together.  In thinking of common spices found in pantries during the 1800s, I used cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg.  In my head, I could hear Homer Simpson: "Mmmmmm, spice cookies".

I added the flour mixture, a little at a time, since I was stirring this all together by hand.  All measured, "enough flour to mould it" turned out to be 2 1/4 cups.
This time, along with changing the amount of eggs used, I made tweaks to the recipe as I went along, and I cut the recipe in half, since I didn't know how many cookies this would actually make.  I'd have hated to end up with four dozen cookies that I couldn't eat.  Not that I should eat four dozen good cookies, but...

I tasted the dough and it seemed promising.  With a mix of apprehension and anticipation, I scooped tablespoon-sized blobs of batter onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and baked them for 12 minutes at 375 degrees.  And...
They turned out to be quite tasty!  Mild, no one flavor overpowering the cookie, but light and fluffy.  And, I made them all without the help of an electric mixer.  All by hand, baby.  Biceps of steel.

Mmmmm, redemption tastes so good!!

Since I'm pleased with this receipt, I'm sharing my adapted receipt for you below:

1/2 C butter (one stick, softened)
1 C sugar
1 large egg
1/2 C milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer.  Add eggs, vanilla and milk and mix well.  In a separate bowl, mix the baking soda, salt, flour, and spices together well, then slowly add to the wet mixture; mix well.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until set and slightly brown on top.

This yields 18-24 cookies, depending on the size.  


  1. Measurements from really old cookbooks aren't always the same as our standard ones. I think the "cup' measurement is closer to 5-6oz instead of our 8. I would recommend reading this article from King Arthur. It might help out.

  2. Glad your cookies turned out so well! They look delicious! Glad you shared your post on the HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you again tomorrow! - Nancy
    The Home Acre Hop