Chocolate Cookies

Attributed to Neva Radowski. I grew up in Alpena, MI, a city with many people of Polish descent. Names that end in “ski” were pretty common there, so I’m assuming this is from a friend of Mom’s from our Alpena days.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 squares melted chocolate [presumably baking chocolate]
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1.75 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup nuts
[Enough of your favorite frosting to frost the cookies]

To do:
Place butter, sugar, and eggs in bowl and beat until creamy Add melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. [Flour, then milk, then baking powder, I guess?] Add vanilla and nuts. Chill for a few minutes while you preheat the oven to 400F. Drop from spoon on cookie sheet and bake 12–12 minutes. When cool frost with your favorite frosting. [This seems like gilding the lily, but ok.]


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m skipping right past a recipe card for Mrs. Baumler anise cookies. Half of the directions are cut off, and the ingredient list doesn’t include anything that would provide an anise flavor. Mrs. Baumler, if you’re reading this and would like to share your full recipe, please comment on this post.

Anyway, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies seem like something for people who love oatmeal cookie texture but don’t like raisins. Poor souls. This one is attributed to Janet Boyd.

1.5 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 TBS hot water
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups oatmeal
1 pkg chocolate chips
nutmeats (no quantity listed—add as your fondness for nuts demands)

To do:
Preheat oven to 350F. There are no other directions on the card, except to bake for 12 minutes. Why do the eggs need to be unbeaten? Won’t they need to be mixed in with everything else at some point? Or are there going to be a couple of cookies topped with baked eggs? That seems unlikely. Anyway, were I to try this I would mix all the wet ingredients and the sugar together. Then I’d mix all the dry ingredients except for the chocolate and nuts together. I’d then mix the wet and dry things together, mix in the chips and nuts, and drop by the spoonful on a greased cookie sheet.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Attributed to Mrs. Don Julien. I do not remember this person or eating these cookies.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 cup mashed banana
1.5 cups oatmeal
1.5 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts

To do:
Preheat oven to 400F
Cream together sugar and shortening. Add the egg, banana, and oatmeal. Sift in the flour, soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir in nuts. [Presumably one drops spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.] Bake 12-15 minutes.

Butter Scotch Brownies

Attributed to Bess Mitchell.

1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 well beaten egg
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp soda [presumably baking soda]
1 cup chopped nuts

To do:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Add sugar and vanilla to egg. Mix well. Sift together flour, salt, and soda. Stir into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread batter in greased 8 x 8 x 2 pan. Bake for 20 minutes. While warm cut into squares. Cool before removing from pan.

Cashew Nut Casserole

The recipe card attributes this to a Mrs. Carsons and says it serves 12. Mom looooooved her some cashews! I’m rather fond of them myself. I don’t really remember eating them in this dish, though. Behold the classic Midwestern ingredients: cream of mushroom soup and cheese!

3 large onions
2 lbs ground beef
1 large package small noodles, fried
2 cans mushroom soup
1 of those mushroom soup cans full of milk
1 lb sharp cheese
1 29 cent package of cashews (I suspect that they cost more now, 50 years on. I’d go for an 8 oz package.)

Preheat oven to 275F
Brown onions and beef in a skillet. Add meat mixture and put in casserole (the card doesn’t say anything about when to add the soup, so I’d suggest mixing it with the meat and onions at this point). Cover with grated cheese. Put can of milk in. Bake at least 3/4 hour. Sprinkle noodles and nuts over the top. Bake 1/2 hour more.

Easy Bake Spaghetti

Mom attributed this recipe to Mrs. Snider. I don’t remember ever eating it, but Mom went into a bit of a low fat phase when I was pretty young. Bacon drippings don’t play well with a low fat diet.

3 TBS bacon drippings or fat
2 coarsely chopped, peeled onions
1 peeled garlic clove
1/2 lb ground chuck beef
1.5 tsp salt
3.5 cups canned tomatoes
1/8 tsp pepper (Mom was anti-pepper; this could probably be increased.)
1 tsp chili powder (I’d likewise boost this by 50-100%.)
8 oz dried spaghetti
1 cup water
1 cup grated process Am. cheddar cheese (no idea what “process Am. Cheddar cheese” is–I’d go with mozzarella.)

To do:
Preheat oven to 325F
Heat drippings or fat in large skillet. Add onions and garlic. Cook slowly for 5 minutes. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has browned. Stir next four ingredients, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Break the spaghetti in half and add half of it to the bottom of a 2 quart casserole. [It says to discard the garlic, but that sounds challenging and unnecessary. Do as you will.] Add the water to the sauce and pour half over the spaghetti. Sprinkle half the cheese over the sauce. Put the remaining spaghetti on top of the cheese. Put the rest of the sauce on top of the spaghetti and top with the cheese. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.

Baked Beans

This recipe card has “Janet Boyd” in one corner. Not someone I remember, but I do remember Mom making baked beans.

Water for soaking beans
1 lb navy beans
1 cup milk
1 tbs dried mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
Rind from 1/2 lb salt pork

To do:
Soak beans overnight.
Drain beans, add fresh water and boil until soft. (Time unspecified on card. Maybe 30 minutes?)
Preheat oven to 350F (the card just says “bake,” but this is a reasonable guess).
Drain most of the water from the beans and add everything else except the pork rind. Chop the pork rind into small pieces and parboil for 10 minutes. Add to the beans et al. Mix everything, put into casserole dish, and bake for two hours.

Snow Peak Frosting

All by its lonesome, this recipe sat on a card in Mom’s recipe box without an accompanying cake recipe. I’m picturing Mom sitting at a church women’s group function, politely eating the frosting off an otherwise regrettable cake, and asking for the frosting recipe so the cook wouldn’t feel dissed.

The fact that Mrs. Snider and I Did Not Get On may be feeding into this vision.

1 and 1/4 C white corn syrup
2 egg whites
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla

To Do:
Heat corn syrup until boiling. Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add salt. Slowly pour in syrup, continuing to beat until frosting is fluffy and forms peaks when beater is raised. Fold in vanilla. Fills and frosts 2 8″ layers.

Credited to Mrs. Snider