I’ve started clearing out the cupboards in the house. Bookcases are the main focus because although I don’t hoard other kind of things, books are in a completely different category. There is a cupboard that acts as storage for all things cookbook, and houses three shelves of books, each shelf approximately one metre long. And the thing is, I rarely look at any of them.
The idea was to go through each book and if nothing between the covers sparked joy, then out it went. I started with the Delicious magazines. I cut and pasted the things that I was interested in and the leftover pages went in the recycling bin. Everyone of those recipes can be found on the internet but it’s just not the same. Next came the books that were dedicated to sweet things and it was there that I stumbled across a 24 page booklet that must have been great-grandma’s.
No publication details are included so I googled it. Our Best Cookie Recipes was published in 1962 essentially as an ad for the brand Swift & Co. Martha Logan was their home economist and apparently this booklet was put together to convince everyone that their flour, margarine and butter was better than anyone else’s. Once upon a time I would have kept this publication because it was old – it had history. But that attitude doesn’t cut it anymore. The question is: is it useful?
Most of the recipes use margarine or shortening so I had to look past that. Contained within this slim publication are some real gems. I chose to make Date Drops because I had all the ingredients and the recipe spoke to me. They are called ‘drops’ because you drop a teaspoon of mixture on the baking sheet to form the cookie (who would have guessed). They should be called: date, oat and walnut biscuits but who am I to tell Martha Logan that she chose a rubbish name for her cookies.
I changed the shortening to butter but apart from that left the recipe the way it was written. Martha used a teaspoon as the measurement size for the cookies, yielding 36 all up. These were really small! So I used a dessert spoon and made 28. Maybe that was 1960s portion control, and I should have learnt from the experience…oh well. Date drops have managed to save this booklet from the charity bin because they sparked joy for nearly a week. Enjoy!
- 125 grams unsalted butter
- 120 grams brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 225 grams plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (80 grams) rolled oats
- 1 cup (80 grams) walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup (125 grams) pitted dates, chopped
- Heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- In a large bowl mix together the butter and sugar, using electric beaters, until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and milk and combine well.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder and add gradually.
- Add rolled oats, walnuts and dates and mix through using a large metal spoon.
- Drop spoonfuls onto the baking sheet leaving a couple of centimetres between each one.
- Bake 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Cool on a wire rack.