A while ago a dear twitter friend of mine sent me a fabulous vintage cookbook from her collection after she'd heard that I was starting my own vintage cookbook collection. It was such a kind gesture that I sincerely hope she understands what her surprise gift in the mail meant to me.
Upon paging through the book, I ran across a small, warn slip of paper with a hand written recipe that simply said "Rocks". The directions were sparse as were the list of ingredients. I immediately knew I had to make these cookies as my tribute to this unknown woman who's spirit is now welcomed into my kitchen with open arms and our shared love of baking.
I'm going to assume that my new/old found friend is Ruth B. Maxwell of Miniwa, Ohio and this cookbook had been lovingly given to her by Grandma Leyda. It's hard to see these names as they're written in faint pencil on the inside cover of the book, but they're there.
These two women, whom I've never had the pleasure of meeting, are now a part of my heart and home. I am grateful to have them grace my kitchen as I share with you their recipe for "Rocks".
Since deciding on doing this vintage recipe for THE GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP (#fbcookieswap)...
I felt it only appropriate that I did it the old fashioned way so I forwent the use of my modern kitchen aid mixer and opted instead for a mixing bowl (although I doubt Ruth would have used a stainless steel bowl) and wooden spoon. However, I think Ruth and Grandma Leyda would would have been pleased.
Having a decent knowledge of cookie baking, the fact that the recipe seemed to be missing a majority of directions wasn't at deterrent for me at all so I forged ahead. The only thing I did change however to the list of ingredients (if you know me, then you know I can't be stopped even if it means messing with history) is I added a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to Ruth's original recipe. Is that so wrong?
ROCKS (yield 3-1/2 dozen)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
3 well beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup of raisins
1 cup of walnuts
-Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
-In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and the brown sugar.
It sadly didn't take long before I switched to my pastry blender to aid in the creaming of the sugar and butter. Still not the modern convenience of my Kitchen aid and yet not the same as good old elbow grease and probably a couple of forks that Ruth may have used. Ah well...
-To the blended butter and sugar, add the beaten eggs.
-Mix well to combine and switch to a whisk if your arm is really getting tired. (sorry Ruth, LOL).
-Switch back to a wooden spoon and add the vanilla and salt.
-Next add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
-Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
-When that is well blended, add your walnuts and raisins and mix well.
-On parchment lined cookie sheets, drop the dough in teaspoon increments (I used my handy dandy melon baller, which I'm pretty sure Ruth also used along with her parchment paper, LOL) onto the cookie sheet leaving space between each cookie.
-Bake your cookies for approximately 15-17 minutes at 350 degrees until they're nice and golden brown.
-Allow to cool slightly before removing them from the trays, placing them on a decorative plate along with some lovely vintage fabric, and taking Christmas photos (just like the golden, olden days, Ha!)
Now that the cookies are baked and the photos are taken, it's time to ship 3 dozen (1 dozen each) of these lovely little cookies to 3 other food bloggers all around the country which is what The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap #FBCookieSwap is all about! How fun is that? With careful packaging, my (Ruth's) cookies were sent off to Mercedes Porter of Satisfy My Sweet Tooth, Adrienne Megoran of Food Family and Vino and to Kristina Belski of Food Nook
I certainly hope you ladies enjoyed receiving these as much as I enjoyed baking them for you!!! A special thanks also goes out to Michele, Ruth and grandma Leyda! I appreciate having you all in my life.
At this time, I'd also like to give a major shout out to Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil for all the hard work and effort that must have gone into this undertaking of major proportions to bring forth, the first ever Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Thanks ladies...you "ROCKS"!!! Pun intended ;)
If you would like to become involved with next years swap, please visit this site and add your name and blog to next years list. You can also visit the #fbcookieswap page on facebook to view all the other wonderful cookies and bloggers that participated in this years swap!
Until we eat again,
Happy Holidays everyone. May you have a blessed and joyous new year as well,