Saturday, January 12, 2008

Macaroons Made Easy

Some of my favorite cookbooks are the promotional ones that various companies put out (and they still do, especially for cookies, around Christmas) to get the Little Woman to buy that brand of lard or spices or to use Jello in some revolting casserole (I am making that up, of course - unless I find evidence to the contrary, in which case I will let you know).

Here are a few nuggets from a 1938 booklet called "Baking Made Easy" by the folks at the Robin Hood Flour Mills (Ltd), who had mills all across Canada. Still do, in fact I use their flour for baking myself, although that in itself does not make the baking any easier. Here's a link to their website. They appear to have been bought by Smucker's who make all that jam and jelly (guess it sort of goes with the bread, now they just need peanut butter). They started in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1909. And they count among their assets a pickle plant, which pleases me for some reason. I like pickles. Though not with bread and jam.

Anyway, the "Baking Made Easy" book is full of wonders. There is a black and silver label on the inside front cover, proclaiming that it "is not an ordinary advertising Cook Book" (could have fooled me!) but "a specially prepared baking guide" with photos of people making the stuff. In other words - an ordinary advertising Cook Book, with black and white snapshots of disembodied hands mixing up stuff in bowls.

Most of the recipes are what you would expect - bread, pie, popovers, a few thousand sponge cakes. But the Oat Macaroons looked a little more promising, and here they are:

Oat Macaroons

Cream 1/2 cup of butter and add 1 cup of sugar. Cream until light. This will be in bowl #1.

In a second bowl beat 2 eggs until light and add to the butter-sugar mixture. Then add 2 tsp vanilla.

In yet another bowl! combine 1 cup of you-know-who's flour, it cannot be any other kind, with 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tsp baking powder. Then add to first mixture.

Finally add 2 cups of oats made by the you-know-who's of the flour, and then drop teaspoonfuls of this, an inch apart, on greased cookie sheets.

You can sprinkle them with chopped nuts or coconut but I would leave them alone, personally.

Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes and, well - that's it, really.

Note: Obviously I didn't copy the recipe out word for word. I am still boning up on the whole copyright issue, though I gather from the helpful articles on this in Wikipedia that most stuff pre-1964 is fine provided they did not reapply in the last 28 years for a copyright renewal. And I think we're safe here but I am rephrasing here anyway.

I am going to stick to pre-1964 cooking and household books and ephemera for now, much as it pains me to leave out my beloved Holiday Inn Cookbook and the Alice's Restaurant Cookbook (by Alice, natch) but - we'll see. And if anyone knows more, please let me know!

And as I get on with the scanning (am complete utter novice) will add in all the groovy photos and kitschy line drawings. For now we will admire the photo of macaroons I got from Wikimedia Commons, ignoring the chocolate chips and coconut, and imagining all that lovely Robin Hood oatmeal (and flour!) in its place.

1 comment:

Chubby Chick said...

They look scrumptious!

I have a bunch of tiny recipe booklets that belonged to my mother. They're old, and about the size of postcards. Is that what you have?