My Mother’s Cookie Jar

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My Mother’s Cookie Jar

Our kitchen counter was home to a large cookie jar that was molded into the shape of an apple. It stood about ten inches high and was topped by a lid made to resemble the leaves and stem of the fruit. It’s body was bright red in color and the leaves that formed the lid were a soft green. Over time, of course, its colors faded somewhat but my memories of the goodies inside have never grown dim. My favorites were toll house cookies, now called chocolate chip cookies. But there were so many more that I don’t even remember.

While sorting through a box of papers that were taken from my parents’ house, I came across part of an old Woman’s Day pullout section from the December 1949 issue. The pullout was entitled The Cookie Jar and had recipes for about fifty different types of cookies that were popular then. Some have become staples in our lives, others not so much so. The pages are yellowed with age and most of them can barely stand up to being handled. But the recipes they offer are priceless. There are Crisp Ginger Cookies, Sand Tarts, Fried Twists, Pineapple Cookies, English Brandy Wafers, Corn Flake Macaroons, German Peppernuts, Hermits, Date Nut Refrigerator Cookies, and so many more.

The nice thing about these recipes is that they tell what issue of the magazine they first appeared in and how much it will cost the frugal housewife to make these delicious treats for her family. For example: Glazed Almond Cookies first appeared in the November 1949 edition of the magazine and cost ninety-five cents to make approximately four dozen cookies (this was one of the more expensive cookies to make). A real favorite in our house was Orange Marmalade Cookies – my mom made these many times and we always enjoyed these. I’ve included the recipe here for those of you who might want to give them a try.

Orange Marmalade Cookies
Cost 17 cents (November 1949) Makes 3 dozen
1/3 cup margarine 1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons orange marmalade 1 egg, grade B
Grated rind of ½ orange 1 cup sifted flour
½ teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream margarine and sugar; add marmalade, egg and rind; beat until light. Add sifted dry ingredients; mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in hot oven, 400° F., about 8 minutes or until light brown. Note: Any light-colored preserves such as pineapple or apricot may be used in place of orange marmalade.

As I grew older and began helping out in the kitchen, things became easier for the housewife who was looking to work outside the home to supplement income. We were all anxious to try the Slice ‘n Bake cookies when they first came out. My first attempt at making those was a disaster. I didn’t leave enough room between the slices on the cookie sheet and all of the pieces spread into one another, making one large cookie on the sheet. Second attempt was just as bad; even though the cookies didn’t touch each other, I moved them directly from the cookie sheet to the cookie jar without letting them cool first. You guessed it – they stuck to one another forming a large sugary glob that came up in one piece.

I’m still not that good a cookie maker although my recipes have gotten more complex. I remember the first time I made Christmas cookies and attempted to dye the sugary dough with food dye. There really is a point when too much green dye is enough. I am quite good, however, with the Slice’n Bake ones that you can find around the holidays – after all, I’ve had years of experience with them.

If you’d like to know more about those old cookie recipes, or if you try the recipe for the Orange Marmalade cookies, drop me a line care of this newspaper or send me an email via my website. I’d love to hear from you.

By | 2017-05-18T21:35:41+00:00 March 22nd, 2010|Valley Memories Articles|0 Comments

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