Sunday, May 6, 2012


Something fun this week....cookies! I promised my friend Bonny a blog recipe for her daughter Gretchen's birthday party/adult after-party -- but I also forewarned her that I couldn't promise it to taste good. With the trends of the 1950s at play, no presumptions of greatness could be allowed.

Grandma's notebook has multitudes of dessert options including dozens (pun intended) of cookie recipes. This week's selection is simple titled "Cookies". Really. It's Cookies. This is the first of many recipes found safely tucked away in the middle section of the notebook that are in Grandma's handwriting -- undoubtedly culled from friends and neighbors, neatly copied with a fountain pen. The tell-tale ink smudges tell it all. Cookies is a recipe from someone referred to as "Mary's Mother". Well, Mary -- your mom is a GREAT baker because this recipe was fantastic! The soup can rating system is flying!

Cookies - submitted by Mary's Mother. 

1 cup of butter or lard
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups cornflakes
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 t soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 cup coconut OR 1/2 c coconut and 1/2 c nuts

Mold into balls and place (on) pan and flatten with fork. Bake in moderate oven. Makes about 4 dozen.

Again, that tacit cooking knowledge came into play. I did the classic -- butter (I've not ventured into lard territory, but several friends/tasters have had encouraging things to say on the subject), then the sugars -- beat until pale. I added the eggs, and then the combined dry ingredients -- flour, salt, soda, baking powder, oatmeal (rolled oats, not instant). I held the cornflakes and coconut so that I could fold them in by hand. I also added a personal touch -- 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. They did exist in the 50s so I was comfortable with the addition. I preheated the oven for 350 and I rolled up three cookies into walnut-sized balls but the dough was sticky so I grabbed the Pampered Chef cookie scoop. Nice. No stickies. I scooped out 12 and put in the oven for 8 min. Nope not long enough. Two minutes more. And two more. But 12 was too long -- the smallest cookies were definitely too brown. I then wondered if I should chill the dough before moving on. the chill ended up being 10 minutes but that was just enough to make a soft, golden brown cookie with the revised 10 minute baking time.

Tasting time! Warm was great -- soft, chewy and caramelized....the fully cool cookies had that distinct cornflake crunch. The cookies were also a hit at the party -- they vanished from the cookie tin quickly and tasters said the butterscotch-like flavor was a winner.

FYI -- a quick Google search reveals similar recipes all over -- some called Cowboy Cookies, others called Cornflake Cookies. These particular recipes called for slightly different ingredients such as vanilla or almond extract, raisins, butterscotch chips, etc. One website had an identical recipe for Cornflake Cookie and dated it as a 60s Baby Boomer Cookie. Regardless of the era, it's a keeper.

Soup Can Score: FIVE  cans out of Five!

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