When I was twelve years old, I gave my mother a recipe box for Christmas. I know this because she scratched “FROM CHARLES XMAS 1955” on the back of the box. Some of the paint has worn off, but the flowers are still cheerful and if you turn it over, you will learn that it was “MADE in U.S.A” by the Ohio Art Company.
My sister Patsy loaned me two of Mom’s recipe boxes, and they have taught me some new things about my mother. Here are three of them. First, she was an avid snipper of recipes from boxes, newspapers and magazines. Second, she collected lots of recipes from relatives, friends and neighbors. And third, she really liked cake and cookie recipes. Supporting this conclusion is the fact that the soup section of the box includes recipes for “Krunch Drops” and “Chocolate Drop Cookies.”
One of the recipes I found was headed “Bev’s Oatmeal Cookies.” Aunt Bev was my mother’s youngest sister. She and her husband live in Barron today, and she still has coffee and snacks ready when I visit.
Here is her recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies, simple to make and tasty to eat. Plus, with all that oatmeal, they are good for you. I love health foods that taste good!
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T condensed milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups quick cook oatmeal
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350º and grease one or two cookie sheets.
Cream together the shortening and sugars. Stir in the egg, vanilla and condensed milk until you have a smooth batter. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda by thirds into the liquid ingredients and stir thoroughly to make a soft dough.
Stir a cup of oatmeal into the dough, then add the raisins and stir to mix thoroughly. Finish by adding the second cup of oatmeal and stirring until all the ingredients are moistened and mixed evenly together. You should have a very stiff dough. If necessary, add another tablespoon of flour.
Drop rounded teaspoons of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for twelve minutes and cool them on a rack.
NOTES: This recipe makes about thirty cookies.
You can substitute whole milk, half and half or cream for the condensed milk.
These cookies are nice and chewy a few minutes after they come out of the oven, but they get crunchy if you let them sit out on a plate. If you want them to stay chewy, put them in a storage bag with a slice of bread when they are still slightly warm.
As an experiment I made a batch of these cookies using only light brown sugar and think that they have an even better flavor.