Ho-Ho-Ho Cookie lovers!
I love battered and used cook books. This beauty was my grandma’s. The spine is cracked, the pages are yellowed and stained with grease, jam, egg whites — basically anything used for cooking. There are handwritten notes my grandma made in the margins — some in English, some in Italian. There are full recipes written in the inside cover, as well as abbreviated recipes that have measurements by hand, as in a ‘handful of flour’ and ‘couple of pinches of’ measurements.
Best of all, stuffed between the pages are other recipes she collected. A few are typed in a fancy cursive typeface. Others are clipped from the newspaper. A few, like the Florida Orange Juice Cake, comes from my grandma’s friends.
Today’s Cookie comes from the cookbook, rather than from Grandma or one of her baking Betty’s. These cookies make me think of Christmas — probably because of the spice. They’re not the most Christmasy of cookies, but they are simple and tasty.
Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook, 1950, page 183
Oven to 400F/200C
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup sour milk (to make this, mix 1 cup of milk with the 1 tsp vinegar below but only use ½ cup of milk)
- 1 tsp vinegar
Sift together and stir in:
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup raisins (or sultanas) for eyes and mouth
Drop by rounded spoonful onto lightly greased baking sheet. Press in 2 raisins for eyes and one raisin for mouth. Bake 10-12 min or until set and cookies have ‘faces.’
I suggest serving these fashionable cookies with a nice cup of medium roasted coffee. I am not a cookie dunker, as I detest crumbs in my coffee, but I have been told these are bitchin’ dunkers.
One confessionhere. The name ‘Monkeyface’ makes me think of Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion. It’s what he calls Joan Fontaine. I’m a Cary Grant and Hitchcock sucker. And Joan Fontaine was in Hitchcock’s version of Rebecca, which is one of the most awesome books ever, and would probably be even more awesome if there was a scene where the second Mrs DeWinter ate Monkeyface cookies.