Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Church Cookies

I love cookbooks. My favorites are the ones published by church groups and ladies auxiliaries. They are so fun to just sit down and read and see how cooking has changed over the years. I usually pay less than 50 cents each for them at garage sales. One of my favorites is called "Home Cookin' is a Family Affair". It was published through a cookbook company by a Mennonite family(the Mast family). It has over 200 pages and lots of great recipes in it. One of my favorite things about this cookbook is that many of the recipes are for large families. When all 5 of mine were still at home, I really needed those. I was usually cooking not only for my family of 7, but for the extra friends that they brought home. Some Sunday dinners I would feed 10 to 12.

This recipe is for Church Cookies. The note at the end of the recipe says "The Amish used to, and I think in some places still do, make these cookies to pass during church services to keep the children quiet" It is a HUGE recipe and makes 12 dozen cookies!

5 Cups Sugar
3 Cups lard or shortening
5 eggs
2 Tbsp. baking powder
3 Cups sweet milk
3 tsp. soda
lemon or vanilla flavoring
enough flour to make a stiff dough

I use 16 cups flour and just drop them, then flatten with a damp cloth stretched over the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass. A little more flour may be needed to make them manageable to cut out, but the more flour you use,the drier they tend to be. Chilling the dough before rolling it would help.

Cream sugar and shortening, then add eggs and beat. Add baking powder. Put the soda in the milk, adding it next, along with the flavoring, then the flour. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

These cookies are delicious plain or may be decorated with colored sugar, red hots, chocolate chips, nut halves, etc. before baking.


After posting this, I'm tempted to make them again. I just don't know what I would do with 12 dozen cookies! I know I don't need to eat more than one or two and with that many laying around I might eat more than I should. We still have lots of kids around, but not quite as many hungry teenage boys.

4 comments:

Meredith said...

Wow! I don't know if my mixer could handle 16 cups of flour!

I, too, am a vintage home ec book collector. I love that the early books don't use all the convenient (and expensive) ingredients we have today. Just the basics!

50shousewife said...

Meredith, I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and this recipe is too big for it! I have a huge stainless mixing bowl and even that barely contains it. I have to be careful not to slosh everything out over the sides as I stir. :)

lazonya said...

I'm chuckling. I have a bunch of sour milk in my fridge, and am needing to make cookies for our church VBS. Being the tightwad that I am, I was wondering if I could find a recipe for a cookie recipe that uses sour milk. My grandmother used to make "church cookies" and I remember loving them as a youngster. She always put either one chocolate chip or one "red hot" in the middle of each cookie. So...I did a google search for "church cookies" and came up with your blog. Then I started laughing. I have the Mast cookbook you mention. In fact, I am a Mast! The folks who did the cookbook are my dad's cousins. Furthermore, Merideth who commented previously, is a friend of mine. It is a small, small world. So now, I shall just get down my cookbook and follow the recipe, like a good, old fashioned cook, instead of doing my normal "find it online" thing. Thanks for the laugh.

lazonya said...

Oops, OK, so I guess the recipe doesn't call for sour milk after all. Oh well, it was a good thought. :-)