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Government Cookies: Molasses, honey and other sweets

Cookie recipes found in government documents.

Molasses drop cookies

Molasses drop cookies
(Without eggs, milk, or wheat)

Source: Baking for people with food allergies, Fulton, Lois. , Davis, Carole. , United States. Agricultural Research Service. Human Nutrition Research Division. 1968

Shortening……1/2 cup
Brown sugar, packed ….1/2 cup
Molasses….1/2 cup
Rye flour….. 1 3/4th cups
Ginger…. 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon…1 teaspoon
Ground cloves…. 1/4 teaspoon
Salt…1/4 teaspoon
Baking powder… 1 ½ teaspoons
Baking soda…1/4 teaspoon
Water… 1/3 cup
Vinegar ½ teaspoon

Beat shortening and brown sugar until very creamy and fluffy.
Beat molasses into the creamy mixture.
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add alternately with combined water and vinegar to the creamy mixture. Beat well after each addition.
Chill thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 350 F. (moderate).
Lightly grease baking sheet.
Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Makes 4 dozen small cookies.

Army Baker

Molasses Cookies (Technical Manual, Army Baker, March 22, 1941)

5lb Brown Sugar
2 lb Shortening
1 oz Salt
1 ½ oz Soda
¾ oz Allspice
1 oz Cinnamon
1 qt Malt
¼ qt Molasses
1 pt Eggs
6 lb Flour

Cream the shortening, sugar, salt, soda. Allspice, and cinnamon until light. Add the malt, molasses, and eggs. Mix well and then fold in (by hand) the flour. Drop on greased sheets. Bake at 375 F. for 10-12 minutes. Quantity? A lot.

Honey cookies

Honey Cookies
Source: Recipes using rice polishings, United States Bureau of Home Economics, 1928

¾ cup honey                      ½ teaspoon soda
¼ cup butter                      1 cup raisins
1 egg                                     1 cup wheat flour
½ teaspoon cloves           1 cup rice polishings*
½ teaspoon cinnamon   1/4th teaspoon salt

Heat the honey and mix with the butter. Cool and add the egg. Then stir in the dry ingredients and the raisons which have been mixed together. Drop by teaspoonfuls on to a greased sheet. The oven should be hot at first so that the cookies will stay in shape. As the consistency of honey varies it is sometime necessary to add more flour.

*Rice polishing are the inner bran layer of rice rubbed off in the milling process.

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. 

Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps
Source: Recipes for cookies from the 1966 Forest Service Fire Lookout Cookbook, National Archives at Seattle.

¾ cup butter                                      2 ¼ cups flour
1 cup brown sugar                           2 teaspoons soda
1 egg                                                     ½ teaspoon cloves
4 tablespoons molasses                                1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt                                1 teaspoon ginger

Cream butter. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Thoroughly beat in egg and molasses. Sift flour and other dry material and stir into creamed mixture. Mix well and set in refrigerator or cool place for 1 hour or more.  Shape into balls the size of walnuts and dip in sugar. Put unsugared side on baking sheet and press down flat with back of fork. Bake 12 or 15 minutes in moderate oven. Makes 3 or 4 dozen cookies. Good to have some of these on hand when the ranger comes.

Joe Frogger Cookies

This cookie comes from Marblehead Massachusetts. Read more about the history of this cookie.

Joe Frogger Cookies

3½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 cup molasses
½ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/3 cup hot water

Mix flour, salt, ginger, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg and allspice in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together the molasses, shortening and brown sugar. Combine the hot water and rum.

Add the dry ingredients and the water/rum mixture alternately to the sugar/molasses mixture. (If the dough is dry, add a tablespoon or two of water.) Roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper until ¼ inch thick. Refrigerate at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two baking sheets. Cut the dough into 3-inch cookies with a cookie cutter. (The original Joe Froggers were much larger. For the traditional size, use a coffee can.) Place on greased cookie sheets and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. (Longer for the traditional size.)

The cookies are baked when they are dark around the edges and firm in the centers. Set the cookie sheets on a rack to cool for five minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely

Sweetpotato and Molasses cookies

Sweet potato and Molasses Cookies

Source: Sweet potato recipes, United States Bureau of Home Economics, 1932

1/2 cup fat
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup grated raw sweet potato (grate just before using)
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ginger, if desired
1/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk

Cream together the fat and sugar. Add the egg; beat thoroughly. Add molasses, sweetpotato, and orange rind. Sift together rest of dry ingredients; add alternately with the milk to sweetpotato mixture. Mix well and drop from a teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a moderately hot oven (375° F.) about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 3 dozen.

Plain drop cookies

Plain Drop Cookies

Source: Victory begins at home! : Recipes to match your sugar ration, Bureau of Home Economics, United States Department of Agriculture and the Consumer Division, Office of Price Administration, May 1942.

½ cup fat                                                                              2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 cup sorghum, * cane, corn, or maple sirup        2 teaspoons baking power
1 egg, beaten                                                                    1 teaspoon flavoring

Cream the fat, add the sirup mixed with the beaten egg, and beat well. Add the sifted dry ingredients and flavoring. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet, allowing room for the cookies to spread. Bake to a golden brown in a moderately hot oven (375 to 400 F.) Remove from sheet while hot. This recipe makes about 60 cookies.

Cream Cheese Cookies

Cream Cheese Cookies- The Congressional Club Cook Book. pg 129

1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese

¼ butter

1 cup flour

Cream cheese and butter together; add flour; mix well; place in refrigerator overnight; roll out thin; cut in squares; put a spoonful of jelly or jam in each square; turn up corners; bake in a hot over about 15 minutes.

Mrs. Clarence C. Dill, wife of Senator Dill (Washington)