Filling the Cookie Jar

I have always been absolutely infatuated with the 1940s era. I love everything about it, from the brilliant technicolor designs to the waterfall-style appliances and furniture. Becky from The Last Jar is one of my favorite blogs, in which she recreates life from that era, through a well-loved cookbook. Today’s guest post is just a taste of the wonderfully nostalgic confections to be experienced through her blog.

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”Grandma, can I help make cookies?” asks my son.

Today is a day off from school for my three children, and in our blended household, Grandma’s cookie jar has been empty for far too many days. So my mother pulls out an old cookbook, with pages falling out and fingerprints marking the favorite recipes.

It’s cookie baking day with Grandma.

She tells them “This is the cookbook that your Mom used when she was your age. Why don’t you pick out something you’d like to bake?” They run the book to their room for a conference and serious debate, and return with their decisions. Each dons an apron, and each in turn shares time with Grandma for a lesson in math, ingredients, chemistry, and cleanup, all evenly balanced with sprinkles and bowl licks.

It’s noisy and more than a little chaotic. The kitchen is soon dusted with flour and spilled milk, the counters and floors wearing the evidence of overflowing cups and bowls. The cookie dough makes it into the oven, and a lull shushes the house as we wait.

This is love to me. Time spent, attention paid, gifts shared. Connecting my children with something bigger than themselves, a story that tells them they were loved before they were known.

They are a part, not apart.

“Grandma, this cookbook is OLD”, notices a small voice. Thank goodness.

I encourage you to share a favorite cookie recipe with a young person in your life. Any recipe will do, but this one is fun if you’d like:

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Sparkling Sugar Cookies

From Betty Crocker’s New Boys and Girls Cook Book,

Heat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Mix thoroughly in bowl:

  • ½ cup soft shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Blend in:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk

Stir together in another bowl:

  • 2 cups Gold Medal Flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. soda

Mix these dry ingredients into shortening mixture. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Grease the bottom of a glass. To flatten each cooky, dip glass in sugar and press on dough. For gay cookies, use colored decorators’ sugar.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

At The Last Jar, Becky translates her passion for cooking, collecting vintage family recipes, and storytelling into a business that inspires people to use timeless food preparation methods. Connect with her on Facebook and her website, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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