“Cooky” Mix

Whenever I go into an antique shop, I immediately head toward the book section.

My first search will be for old and interesting cookbooks.

My second stop will be for the pricier first editions or signed copies from my favorite authors, but cookbooks are so much cheaper.

On a recent expedition with mom, I found a kitschy keeper. For $2, I found Cookies for Children, a brochure put out by the University of Missouri Extension Division, circa 1955.

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It is introduced with the following paragraphs:

Cookies are favorites with just about everybody—especially hungry boys and girls just home from school or a session of play.   Such a popular food needs to be good for you as well as good to eat.   Many cookies are high in carbohydrates, sugar and fat, and supply few nutrients other than calories.

Recipes in this bulletin have been developed to make cookies tasty as well as to contain many nutrients needed for growth, for muscle, bone, and tooth development, and for general well-being.

It is good to know some things haven’t changed—cookies are still a favorite.

I found a couple of other things interesting in this ten-page booklet.

  1. Every recipe title included the spelling “cooky.”
  2. All recipes called for shortening and not butter.
  3. Every single recipe called for “dry milk.”

I decided to attempt some of these cookies and I also wanted to make the “master mix” recipe to give as gifts.    I thought it would be a good idea to scan some of the recipes in from the pamphlet to  give as gifts along with the cookies and mixes.PD request_0001

Here the basic “cooky” mix with a bit of modernization:

Basic Recipe for Cooky Mix
From Cookies for Children

6 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. baking powder
2 t. fine sea salt
1 1/2 c. dry milk
1 1/2 c. shortening
2 c. sugar

Place ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the whisk and mix well until it resembles coarse cornmeal.

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Store in in sealable containers and may be stored at room temperature for up to six weeks.  Makes about 14 cups.

When measuring mix for recipes, stir lightly before measuring but do not sift.   Spoon into cup and level off.   Do not pack.

The most tasty “cooky” recipe listed made from this mix was Lemon Drops.

Lemon Drops (made with Basic Recipe for Cooky Mix)

2 c. mix (see above)
1 1/2 t. lemon zest (I used the zest of one whole lemon.)
1 T. lemon juice
1 farm fresh egg, well beaten
1/4 c. water

Measure mix in bowl.   Add lemon rind and juice.

Beat egg, add water, then add to Mix, stirring thoroughly.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet.

Bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F.) 12-15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Yield:  2 dozen 1 1/2-inch cookies.

If you like LOTS of lemony flavor, I would add a bit of lemon extract to this dough as well.   I also sprinkled mine with a bit of yellow sanding sugar.

Lemon Drops

Lemon Drops

I made up this mix (shortening and all) to give away as gifts, attaching a vintage recipe card or two with directions.

Package at least two cups of the mix for gift-giving.  (Two cups is what the recipes call for.)   I used some of the “new” blue jars from Ball and some Kilner rubber-sealed jars.

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Some of the other recipes that can be made from the “Cooky Mix” follow:

Raisin Drop Cooky

2 c. Mix
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 egg, well-beaten
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. raisins

Measure Mix into bowl; add cinnamon and stir until blended.

Beat egg, add water, then add to dry mixture, combining thoroughly.

Stir in raisins.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.   Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F) 15-18 minutes.

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A cooky photo from the pamphlet.

Peanut Butter Cooky

2 c. Mix
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg, well-beaten
1 t. vanilla
2 T. water
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter

Measure Mix into bowl; add brown sugar and stir until blended.

Beat egg, add vanilla and  water, then add to dry mixture.

Add peanut butter and mix thoroughly.

Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cooky sheet.   Press down with tines of fork.

Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F) 12  minutes, or until lightly browned.

I love to be kitschy at Christmas! Rummage through your local thrift store or antique shop and find vintage cookbooks. Then, prepare one of the recipes.   Cookies, cakes and some appetizers are great to make.   Present your homemade item along with the retro book as a gift to your favorite foodie.  Even if you aren’t a baker or cook, these antique store finds make great gifts all by themselves (and most of the time they’re CHEAP!)

Stay tuned for another retro “cooky” recipe.  (When did “cookie” as a non-plural noun make its way into our normal lexicon?  The word “cooky” is kinda freakin’ me out.)

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