Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baker's Chocolate Cake Cookies

Baker's Chocolate was not made and sold by a baker. And German Chocolate Cake - associated and made with Baker's Chocolate - did not have its culinary origins in Germany. I never knew this, even though I usually have a package or two of Baker's Chocolate in my cupboard. It's amazing what you can learn from vintage ads.

The Baker Chocolate Company was established in the late 18th century in Massachusetts. Until the 1840s, it was known for unsweetened cakes of chocolate used to make hot cocoa. But by the 20th century Baker's was best known for its sweetened and unsweetened baking chocolate.

As for German Chocolate Cake, it was actually named for German's Sweet Chocolate, invented in the early 1850s by Samuel German of the Baker Chocolate Company. Just over a century later, in 1957, a lady sent her recipe for German's Chocolate cake to a Dallas newspaper. It proved to be quite popular, and when it was reprinted, several of the other newspapers left out the apostrophe and a delicious misnomer was created.

Vintage Baker's advertisements like this one from 1940 usually include some really good recipes. This is one of them. It's called Baker's Chocolate Cake-Cookies - soft cookies that could also be baked in squares and iced, like brownies. They are probably something like that modern convenience, the cake-mix cookie - but much better. I might make these next time someone requires cookies for school or a social occasion (or someone else can do it if I point them in the direction of the Baker's Chocolate while I go lounge on the back porch and read a magazine).

Here's the recipe - they seems pretty adamant about us using Calumet Baking Powder, but I'm sure you can substitute whatever brand you happen to have. And you don't have to wait until summer to bake them, either.






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