I was tired of Jell-O for now so here's an interesting cookie. Interesting because of the sugar content and the type of batter. Remember the Filled Oatmeal Cookies? Just brown sugar, no white sugar. Well, in this cookie we repeat history.
There is no credit for this recipe, it's just written in pencil in Grandma's neat, thin hand.
Chocolate Drop Cookies
1 beaten egg
1 cup brown sugar
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup shortening
2 squares chocolate melted
1 2/3 cup cake flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t soda
1/2 cup sweet or sour milk
1/2 cup nuts
Beat egg until light, add sugar and mix well. Add vanilla then shortening which has been mixed with melted chocolate; blend well. Sift flour with salt and soda and add alternately with milk; add nuts. Drop small portions of greased baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake 350 10-12 minutes. While still warm, frost with butter cocoa frosting.
All purpose flour vs cake flour -- head to head
This recipe was a great choice for a busy day -- I had everything on hand including the leftover cake flour from the orange cake. However, I have been leery of that bag of cake flour every since the Orange Cake turned out funny in texture. Still, this was a chance to use some of it up.
According to the web, more protein exists in all purpose flour therefore giving more structure and density to the everyday baked goods -- think loaves of quick bread, etc. I wanted to be true to the recipe and have a structured cookie so I chose a moderate solution -- 1 cup all-purpose and 2/3 cup cake flour, sifted according to direction.
2 squares chocolate, melted....Back in the day, Baker's chocolate (brand) would have been one of two options for a chocolate-based cookie. The other 1950s option was to use 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil to equal each one-ounce square of chocolate. I had squares so the recipe received squares -- but not Baker's brand. I keep either Ghirardelli or Lindt on hand, for cocoa powder it's Scharffenberger. Just my opinion but these brands are superior -- and all three brands of chocolate set off my spell-check and auto-correct. Sheesh! (Oh -- I cheated and microwaved the chocolate on half power for a minute....no riggin and dirtying a double-boiler here!)
Sweet and Sour
1/2 cup sweet or sour milk...I chose the "sweet" because it's all I had, though it was skim milk, though I bet buttermilk would be good in a chocolate cookie recipe. Sweet vs sour is funny because today we certainly don't call milk sweet or sour -- sour milk has a nose-wrinkling connotation that doesn't work with the senses. Call it buttermilk and we think mmmmm....scones, cakes, biscuits!
Not today...it's hard to get Max to eat a cookie with nuts...I opted for an equivalent measure of chocolate chips. Nestle manufactured the chips as early as 1939 so it's historically correct in my opinion. Plus -- this would make the cookie a double chocolate cookie....even better!
The dough came together easily. The only oddity was the step combining the shortening and melted chocolate, though, it worked brilliantly as the warm liquid chocolate melted and softened the shortening somewhat allowing the mixture to be incorporated into the wet and dry ingredients without unsightly lumps. The dough also turned out to be as soft and silky as cake batter...interesting!
Ok, I know cookie sizes have changed dramatically in the past 60 years. There was no specific measurement in this one but MY cookie scoop is a 2-Tablespoon size. Gulp! This is probably double the size of a prim and proper 1950s cookie drop. I DID skip the buttercream frosting however, because there was no recipe for it that I could find in the notebook. Skipping the frosting alone saved calories, right??
After baking for exactly 10 minutes in a 350 oven the cookies came out soft, pillowy, and very light in texture -- almost like an angel-food brownie. They tasted very brownie-like but not at all fudgy. QUite good! The chocolate chips turned out to be a good addition -- they beefed up the texture a bit. Frosting? Yeah, would have been really good. If I fine the recipe. I'll let you know. Happy baking!