Jeff’s favorite kind of cooky is snickerdoodles. Note that I spelled it “cooky”. That is awesome, isn’t it? My 1960 Betty Crocker cookbook is so charming for so many reasons, not the least of which is how it spells “cooky”. (It also does this thing where it will say something like, “This recipe was sent into us by Mrs. Jeffrey Bletch, formerly Patti Smith of our staff. I would not have done well in the 50s/60s, I wouldn’t have. I ain’t nobody’s property, Betty.)

Latent feminism aside, I enjoy the cookbook immensely. It is really fond of meat dishes, casseroles and the occasional Jello mode. My mom used this same cookbook when I was growing up, and I remember going through it and reading it. I ordered one for myself off of eBay, but left it on the floor one day and Buddy got to it. There must have been meat juices or something on the meat section, because he ripped those pages out and chewed them up. He got a spanking and a time out in the yard, but I think he failed to grasp how upset I was. Undaunted, I ordered another one off of eBay and that had remained mercifully Buddy-free.

The best Snickerdoodle recipe that I have found resides in those unchewed upon pages. Is it healthy? Um dude, these are cookies from the 50s, so the answer would be no. But OTOH, it could have called for the use of pure lard and it does merely call for Crisco, so….

1 cup of shortening
1.5 cups of sugar
2 eggs
2 t of cream of tartar
1 t baking soda (just called soda in the cookbook because bitch, if you don’t know we ain’t talkin’ about no Club Soda, you oughta get yo ass out the kitchen)
1/4 t salt
2.75 c of flour
2 T of sugar
2 t of cinnamon

Mix your shortening, eggs and sugar. Then mix the dry ingredients except the 2 T of sugar and 2 t of cinnamon. Combine. My batter tends to be a little dry so I often put a dash of 1/2 & 1/2 in to moisten it up. Roll into balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and put on a cooky sheet that has been greased or, in my case, has parchment paper on it. Bake at 400 degrees (moderately hot oven, Betty cheerfully reminds us) for about 10 minutes (12 in the case of my oven). Don’t panic at the disco when you see them puff up and then flatten out…it’s all part of the charm.


  1. Margot says:

    happy birthday to Jeff! i loves me some snickerdoodles too.

    from what i’ve read, lard (the real stuff from the butcher you have to refrigerate, not the shelf-stable stuff they sell in grocery stores) would probably be healthier than the hydrogenated shortening they would have sold in Betty’s day. lard actually has less saturated fat than butter, and it’s not even clear that saturated fat is really bad for you. but the negative associations with trans fats are pretty clear.

    of course, now that you can get non-hydrogenated shortening, who knows? and shortening does make softer, chewier cookies than butter or lard. my mom actually used to do half and half butter/shortening to get the butter flavor but a the softer texture you get with shortening.


  2. Yenta Mary says:

    Oh, I love snickerdoodles! And I adore those old cookbooks, not even so much for the recipes as for the commentary. I bought an issue of McCall’s magazine from 1965 recently, and one recipe featured an admonishment to housewives not to skip lunch but to take a moment to sit and eat properly ….

  3. teacherpatti says:

    Mary, I know! The BC book has a whole thing about not getting too tired during the day. Oh, please! If I can make it through my day….
    Margot, you can use 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter in this recipe but I was out of butter :blush:

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