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Government Cookies: Home

Cookie recipes found in government documents.

Government documents have a sweet side. Many agencies from the Department of Agriculture to the War Department published recipes of sweet and savory treats. Here you will find a growing selection of recipes. Below are some holiday treats.

Need more recipes? Try this great guide from Texas Christian University (TCU), Mary Couts Burnett Library. This guide was created by Dr. Rebecca Sharpless.

The Library of Congress has multiple blog posts on Cooking up History:
Holiday Baking with a Retro Twist,
Homemade Halloween,


Você já experimentou Christmas cookies ?

Embaixada e Consulados dos EUA no Brasil

Confira aqui uma receita dos famosos biscoitos de gengibre para esta época do ano!


2 tabletes de manteiga em temperatura ambiente
2 1/2 xícaras de açúcar de confeiteiro peneirado
2 ovos
3 2/3 xícaras de farinha de trigo
2 1/2 colheres de chá de canela em pó
2 1/4 colheres de chá de coentro em pó
2 colheres de chá de anis estrela*
1 1/4 colheres de chá de fermento em pó
1 colher de chá de erva-doce em pó
1 colher de chá de gengibre em pó
1 colher de chá de cravo em pó
1/2 colher de chá de sal
1/4 colher de chá de noz moscada em pó
1/4 xícara de leite
1 xícara de açúcar decoração colorida

Modo de Preparar:

1. Misture a manteiga e o açúcar na tigela da batedeira e bata até ficar homogêneo. Bata os ovos.
2. Peneire a farinha, canela, coentro, erva-doce, fermento, gengibre, cravo, sal e noz-moscada em uma grande tigela separada.
3. Com a batedeira ligada no modo mais leve, adicione lentamente os ingredientes secos à mistura de manteiga até obter uma massa.
4. Retire a massa da tigela e embrulhe em filme plástico; leve à geladeira até ficar firme, de 2 a 4 horas.
5. Pré-aqueça o forno a 180°C e unte as forminhas.
6. Retire a massa da geladeira e deixe descansar em temperatura ambiente por cerca de 10 minutos, até que fique maleável. Divida a massa ao meio; devolva metade à geladeira. Coloque a outra metade em uma superfície enfarinhada. Abra a massa até atingir aproximadamente 2cm de espessura, jogando farinha conforme necessário.
7. Corte os biscoitos com cortadores e coloque nas assadeiras com 3cm de distância.
8. Pincele levemente os biscoitos com leite e polvilhe com açúcar colorido.
9. Asse até ficar firme e as bordas começarem a escurecer, de 10 a 14 minutos. Deixe os cookies esfriando um pouco na assadeira e transfira para o prato até esfriar completamente. Repita com o restante da massa.

Três dúzias

Obs – O anis estrelado pode ser encontrado na parte de temperos de qualquer supermercado. Para obter o melhor resultado, é necessário moer todo o anis estrelado.

Feliz Natal!

Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe comes from the Department of State Special Services Unit chefs

Chef's Gingerbread Cookies Recipe


  • 3/4 C Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 C Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C Molasses
  • 2 egg yokes

Sift the following ingredients together

  • 2/1/3 C All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Ground Allspice
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda


1) In a large mixing bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses till light and fluffy.

2) Add egg yokes, beat till smooth

3) On slow speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until a dough forms. (Dough will be very soft and sticky.) Remove and separate into three or four equal portions; wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.

4) Working with only one portion at a time, keeping the other portions chilled, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to approximately 1/8 -1/4 inch thick. Place cut-out cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, keeping some room between them, so they can spread. (We re-roll our "scraps" once, after gathering and chilling them again.)

5) Bake in a 325 F oven for approximately eight to 12 minutes, depending on how thickly rolled.

6) To decorate, combine confectioners' sugar with a small amount of water or milk to make a spreadable white icing, ice the cookies once they have cooled completely.


Orange Drop Cookies

Orange Drop Cookies

Source: Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes, 1927, Bureau of Home Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Read a GPO GovernmentBookTalk post about Aunt Sammy.

2 cups flour                         4 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup sugar                         2 eggs
4 tablespoons butter      4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt                2  tablespoons grated orange rind

Cream together the grated rind of the orange and the butter. Gradually beat in the sugar, the beaten eggs and the orange juice. Add flour and baking powder which have been mixed together. Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet or an inverted pan and bake in a quick over. 

Crumb cookies

Crumb Cookies

Source: The Day Book, 1914, Chronicling America. Chronicling America is the Library of Congress’s free database of newspapers. Check out this database for more wonderful recipes. 

Cream ½ cup of lard with 1 cup of sugar, add 2 eggs and beat thoroughly. Add ½ cup of molasses, teaspoon each salt and cinnamon. Dissolve 2 level teaspoons of soda in ½ cup of sour milk, add to egg and sugar mixture. Two cups of fine bread crumbs and flour enough to roll. Cut into shape and drop bit of jelly jam or apple sauce in center of each cookie. Bake quickly.

1785 gingerbread recipe

Gingerbread Cookies Adapted from Powell’s recipe For making Ginger Bread. (Read more about historic recipes at NLM.)

Heart shaped cookies on a baking sheet.

  • ½ cup and 2 tsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. and 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. mace (or substitute with extra nutmeg)
  • 1 Tbs. coriander
  • 1 Tbs. caraway seeds
  • 6 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 cups butter, melted


  • Melt butter and let cool.
  • In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  • Stir the molasses and egg into the cooled, melted butter. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, stirring by hand.
  • Place dough in freezer for 15 min.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Roll dough out to approximately ¼ an inch, use flour to prevent sticking.
  • Cut out using cookie cutters.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 7 min.

Makes approximately 80 cookies


Dutch Speculaas Cookies

A cookie mold shaped like a man with a beard and bishop's hat.

As a Dutch colony, New York homes had the potential of smelling fantastic during the winter holiday season. Since many of the spices used in Speculaas were quite expensive at the time, families might only be able to make small batches of this tasty treat, especially in areas far from commercial ports and easily accessible cities, such as New York City and Albany. During the American Revolution, a treat such as this may have been enjoyed by the officers as they entertained throughout the winter encampment season.

A traditional wooden Speculaas mold (speculaaspplank) is in the form of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas. The cookies are left by Dutch children as a special treat for Sinterklaas when he visits on St. Nicholas Day Eve.

What you'll need:

  • 1 ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups flour

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/175 degrees C. Dust 2 baking sheets with flour. Combine brown sugar and butter, beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, and nutmeg. Add flour one cup at a time until a nice stiff dough is formed. (We added a bit extra, so it held the details of the mold while it was baking.) Shape cookies with a mold or cutter, or roll into balls and flatten. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cookies. They should be firm, but not hard.

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