Peanut Drop Cookies

A drop cookie is a dough that is dropped from a spoon onto the baking sheet. These days, I use a scoop that looks like a mini ice cream scoop because it gives me a perfectly rounded ball of dough. But as I was learning to bake from my mother, we used two spoons – one scooped the dough from the bowl and the other scraped it off that spoon and onto the baking sheet. I don’t expect there is really a huge advantage of one over the other and is probably personal preference which way you drop your cookies.

Peanut Drop Cookies

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp B. P.

1/4 tsp dalt

2 tbsp milk

1/2 cup finely rolled peanuts

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Fudges

Oh, fudge, the bottom of this page is completely destroyed and unreadable. That’s a bummer! We will never know the recipe for Brown Sugar Candy, and that’s a shame. I am going to tell myself that maple sugar candy is similar and leave it at that, but I’d guess that’s not really the case.

A quick search for fudge recipes yielded a lot of recipes that use chocolate chips. Now I don’t fault anyone for using them, because it’s probably easier and the sweetness is balanced right out of the bag. The use of cocoa powder and sugar falls under the “old fashioned” fudge recipe category, I suppose. There are many old fashioned fudge recipes and this seems to compare with several. The use of vinegar is an example of kitchen chemistry – the vinegar works to prohibit crystallization of the sugar as it cools, thereby keeping the fudge smooth and creamy. Apparently you can also use cream of tartar or lemon juice in its place. I’m not much of a candy maker, so this is new information for me. :-)

Fudges

2 1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 cup milk

4 tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp butte

pinch salt

1 1/2 tsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

Cocoanut Drop Cookies

It’s interesting that this recipe calls for powdered sugar rather than granulated sugar. My daughter once used powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar in a recipe and the results were not as sweet as expected, due to the fact that they aren’t equivalent and so don’t sweeten with the same amounts. I looked more into the use of powdered sugar (10X, confectioners or icing sugar) in cookies and most sources don’t recommend it. Powdered sugar in the USA has corn starch added, and that can absorb some of the liquids you need in a cookie recipe. There is of course the issue of 1/2 c of one not being equal in sweetness to 1/2 c of the other. Also, the texture of the cookie will be quite different – powdered sugar makes a cookie more dry and firm, but they melt in your mouth apparently.

The act of creaming your sugar and butter together also aerates the butter and allows for the chemical reaction of any baking powder used in your recipe. The smaller the granules of sugar, the smaller the air pockets will be in your batter, and the more dense the baked product will be. So, consider that when you are out of granulated sugar and the powdered sugar tempts you.

Another tidbit – the word cocoanut used here definitely refers to “coconut” as we know it. However, in the Victorian era, coconut was spelled cocoanut. It’s an archaic form of spelling and has led to some interesting and disastrous results in baking old recipes. Imagine if you thought it meant cocoa + nut, and turned out a chocolatey treat rather than the distinctively creamy & sweet coconut that should have been used!?

Cocoanut Drop Cookies

1 lb powdered sugar

1/4 lb cocoanut

4 eggs

3 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cup flour

Beat eggs until light, add sugar & beat again; add flour & baking powder, & stir in the grated cocoanut. Drop small portion with teaspoon on well buttered bans, rather far apart as they spread.

Anise Drops

This is a cookie from Germany. Anise drops are also known as anisplätzchen, meaning anise flavored cookie. Once the batter is made, it is dropped by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet and then allowed to rest over night, a minimum of 8 hours and up to 12 hours. The resting time allows the egg white in the batter to rise to the top of the cookie, and when baked it hardens like a merengue. I also found them called self frosting cookies. Some people say the top is like a merengue or French macaron.

I haven’t made them myself, but they sound pretty easy. However, as with several of these recipes from the Girl’s Trade School book, the recipe above is not well organized and might be leaving something out. I looked at some other recipes online and will link them below the transcript.

Anise Drops

6 eggs

1 lb powder sugar

1 lb flour

Beat the sugar & eggs 15 minutes, then put in your flour mixed 1/2 tsp B. P. with the flour. Sometimes you don’t need all the flour, the dough must be stiff not too stiff with the only way to tell is to watch when you drop them all in pans in the evening. Let them stand where they dry & get cool, and bake in the morning in a cool oven & take 1/2 tsp of anise seeds and pound them to a powder, put that in before the flour.

My take on this: Beat the sugar & eggs 15 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp of anise seeds that have been ground. Combine the flour and baking powder together, then add to the egg mixture. Drop by teaspoons to a baking sheet. Let them stand over night to dry, then bake in a cool oven (200 degrees is technically a “cool” oven). Start at 15 minutes then check them so the bottoms are lightly golden.

 

Reference Recipes from Elsewhere

Anise Drops via King Arthur Flour

Anise Plätzchen via Gin’s Kitchen

Vanilla Anise Drop Cookies via The Kitchen Maus

Jelly Roll

Here’s another scan that has a bonus recipe. Jelly Roll seemed awfully short so I thought it included the information below it, which is in fact a recipe for a Graham Torte.

A jelly roll is also known as a Swiss roll cake – the beautiful spiral rolled cakes that feature so prominently on the Great British Baking Show (yes, I am obsessed with it lol). What makes it so lovely is adding a jelly or cream filling to the cake before rolling it into a tight spiral. The type of pan used is what most of us call a baking sheet or cookie sheet – the low sided type. Apparently my Gram made these cakes often enough that my mother remembered them well. It seems the technique to rolling them nicely is a learned one. I haven’t tried it yet. On the GBBS program, the bakers roll the cake in a tea towel while warm, then unroll to spread jam/jelly or cream filling, then roll again.

The Graham torte sounds like a sweet, dense cake. For a torte, you could make two or three layers, and then separate them with whipped cream.

Jelly Roll

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

Stir good

1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

Roll when warm

 

Graham Torte

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 c sweet grated chocolate

1 lemon shell (rind?)

1 cup Graham crackers (you’d need to crush them)

1 tsp BP

1/4 lb almonds

Serve with whipped cream

Heavenly Food Cake

I have heard Angel Food Cake called the opposite of Devil’s Food Cake – one is light and airy, the other dark and rich – but I have never heard of Heavenly Food Cake. Google thinks this should be a recipe for Angel Cake, so I’m guessing this is a new one for most of us. Have you heard of a Heavenly Food Cake made with dates and walnuts? Do tell.

Heavenly Food

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp butter

Cream both

2 eggs beaten separately (meaning beat the yolks and whites separately)

1/2 cup water

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 pound dates, chopped fine

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup flour sifted 2 times

Serve with fruit & whipped cream on top. Bake in shallow pan one half hour.

Devils Food Cake

I keep meaning to make Devils Food Cake, but since I don’t bake a lot of cakes I haven’t gotten around to it…yet. One day it will happen!

In this particular recipe there is the notation for “scant” amounts. This means just slightly less than the full measure. And since it isn’t quantified, you really can’t guess exactly how much the recipe really wants. For instance, the 1/2 cup butter scant could mean to cut the butter off the width of a knife, or just below the line, or as my grandmother did, use the measuring cup with a dent in it. Next, the recipe ingredients list sour milk, but the method mentions butter milk. Make sour milk by adding lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk. I think it was just an error that she wrote butter milk.

Devils Food Cake

3 T cocoa

3 T water

1 1/4 c sugar

1/2 c butter (scant)

1 cup sour milk

1 t soda

yolk of 1 egg

2 scant c flour

1 egg white beaten stiff

Heat & melt cocoa, water & sugar. When dissolved add butter.

Set aside to cool. Mix butter milk soda & beaten yolk, add the melted choc. mixture. Then the flour and egg white beaten stiff.

Bake in moderate oven (350) in layer tins.