Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday's Favorites from the Past: Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

Oh Christmas Cookies...

Every Friday, Alyce At Home With Books features this meme inviting us to look back at a favorite book from the past.

I come from a family that loves Christmas cookies.
Each mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, niece, daughter, grand-daughter has a special recipe that is a favorite.  Even when we were overseas for years, we baked, and mailed, and shared and gathered even more new cookie recipes.  We go to cookie exchanges, we call each other every year to verify the ingredients for grandma Nona's "Fraguna".  We even published little mini-cookbooks ----like we typed and xeroxed and hole punched and put little ribbons thru the pages --even put a construction paper cover on them with stencilled designs on the cover.

Last weekend, in preparation for a trip to my hometown late this month, I was browsing thru all my cookie recipes and cookbooks--they are kept in a slipcase just for Christmas baking--trying to figure out how many pounds of flour, sugar, butter, raisins, nuts, etc., I might need.  The list of possibilities grows every year (as do the hips!!!), but I always come back to this book--Betty Crocker's Cooky Book-- which I got for a wedding present in 1967.  The pages are caked with batter droppings, stained with green food coloring for the spritz trees, stuck together with candy cane chips, and literally falling out of the spiral binding.  But that Spritz cookie recipe is the only one that works in my cookie gun.

I had a chance to buy one of these books in excellent shape at a used book sale last year, but passed on the opportunity.  It had no character.  Whoever had owned it had obviously never baked anything from it.  The pages were CLEAN.

So in honor of the kickoff of the baking season (rumballs have to 'stew' for at least 6 weeks) I look to Betty Crocker as my favorite from the past.

Do you have a favorite cookbook? cookie book? recipe?

I've been thumbing through Ann Pearlman's Christmas Cookie Club ARC which has been sitting here for weeks, and have decided to add a Christmas category to my 2nd 999 challenge.  I've gotten several holiday themed books in the past couple weeks, so I'm going to settle down in November and really enjoy my favorite holiday.

Stay tuned for Holiday Ho Ho Ho Reviews and Happy Baking...


  1. I am definitely going to have to keep my eyes open for that cookbook at the used book store. My cookie cookbook leaves a lot to be desired. I haven't really been tempted by any of the recipes in it. My regular cookbook is pretty messy though, with batter and flour and such on the pages. :) It is well loved.

  2. Your cookbook sounds like my Fanny Farmer cookbook that I got over 40 years ago. It is the one I always go back to time and time again.

  3. I come from a family that tried to get friendly with people who baked Christmas cookies... ;-)

  4. Caite -- that was half the fun of having all those cookies--my mom had an excuse to visit those neighbors who were standoffish the rest of the year--after all, what were they hiding?

  5. Alyce--although I'm not a Martha Stewart fan per se, her Christmas cookie cookbook (a magazine type paperback) is another winner!

  6. Hi, Tutu! Unfortunately, I don't have cookbooks at all. My mom never allowed me in the kitchen, since she always told us kids that we just made a mess of everything. Ergo, I never learned how to cook and I've never actually followed a recipe in a cookbook.

    When I visit bookstores and take a look at the cookbook collection, I can't help but admire them! They're so artistically designed, and the photographs in them are so beautiful.

    However, I do love to read about food and eating. Have you read Jeffrey Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything and It Must've Been Something I Ate?

  7. Peter...thanks for stopping by...I haven't read Steingarten but will keep my eye out-- I have a food category in one of my 999 challenges, and those sound like they'd fit right in.

    Take a look at Betty Crocker's Cooking for Two, or the old Fannie Farmer cookbook that Kaye mentioned. My husband uses my FF all the time when it's his night to cook. For the basics...they are great starters for a non-cook.


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