16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, December 2, 1911: Saturdays are so cut and dried, when no one comes to see you, especially when one is having a short vacation. I made some cookies this afternoon, the first time I really did it alone. They got rather hard on account of having too much flour in them. Anyway they proved to be eatable.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
I wonder what kind of cookies Grandma made. A small cookbook published in 1911 to advertise KC Baking Powder contained this recipe for Peanut Cookies:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoonsful milk
1/4 teaspoonful salt
1 cup flour
1 level teaspoonful KC Baking Powder [other brands work fine]
3/4 cup shelled peanuts
Sift together, three times, the flour, salt and baking powder. Cream the butter; add sugar, egg, milk, the flour mixture, and lastly, the peanuts, chopped and pounded fine in a mortar. Drop on a buttered tin, a teaspoonful in a place. Put half a nut meat on each bit of dough. Bake in a moderate oven.
These cookies are excellent with a delightful peanut taste. I plan to make them again when I do my holiday baking.
For this recipe I used a 375 degree oven. I dropped the batter on a greased cookie sheet, and baked the cookies until lightly browned (about 10 minutes).
I did not sift the flour and other dry ingredients. And, instead of using a mortar to pound the nuts–whew, cooking sounds like more work in the days before electric appliances–, I ground them in a blender.