Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cookbook Corner: Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

Ever since I was a little kid, I've loved cookbooks. I'll have to try to find the old photo of me as a toddler sprawled out on the kitchen floor with my mom's awesome Betty Crocker cookbooks scattered around me. Betty Crocker books were always close at hand growing up. I loved their hard covers, their spiral binding, the sound the pages made over the metal spirals when I turned them, and--of course--the dated but still yummy photos.

My mother says she never had Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, but it seems so familiar to me. When I saw it perched on the bookshelf at Barnes and Noble, I had to snatch it up and take it home with me.

What to expect: The Cooky Book is packed with over "450 cookie recipes, dozens of appetizing full-color photographs, and many how-to-do-it sketches." The book originally came out in 1963 and was reissued in 2002 with the following comment from the Betty Crocker folks:

We're excited to bring you this treasured edition of
Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. The recipes are exactly as they appeared in the original 1963 cookbook to reflect the heritage of American baking. Eating habits may have changed, but the fond memories of sharing the delicious cookie recipes from this cookbook remain the same.

Some ingredients and food safety concerns have changed over the years. So you may want to try these recipes using today's ingredients and methods. Or ask Mom or Grandmom how they make these recipes still taste so good today!

Some cookbooks are family treasures. They're splattered with batter, dribbles of egg, and crusty splotches of vanilla. The fact that they're so worn makes them all the more special. Betty Crocker's Cooky Book is one of those books. I can't wait to see how my book warps with wear. If you like to bake, if you're a cookie fiend, or if you have kids, this is a bookshelf essential.

Best recipes: Wow. There are way too many to list. I sat down and listed all the cookies I want to try, and came up with several dozen. Oops. Here are my current top six:
  • Chocolate Crinkles (page 23)
  • Zimtsterne: crispy, spicy cookies from Switzerland (page 43)
  • Banana Spice Cookies: for my husband (page 67)
  • Chocolate Crisscross Cookies (page 68)
  • Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies (page 79)
  • Chocolate Coconut Candies: for my sister; the first ingredient in this is mashed potatoes! (page 125)
Also, I have to mention that in the back section of the book, the Betty Crocker folks have information and recipe on what they've deemed their top cookie recipes for the decade dating from Hermits in the 1880s to French Lace Cookies in 1963 and everything (brownies, Toll House Chocolate Chips, etc.) in between.

Complaints: I have nothing to complain about. However, there are an awful lot of recipes for date-based cookies and bars. The fact that some of the recipes and ingredients are a bit foreign or old fashioned make the book all the more endearing.

Deliciousness scale: 5 spoons of yum out of 5!

This review was based on the 2002 reissue facsimile edition. ISBN: 0-7645-6637-7


phairhead said...

love love love the cover. my mama has many cookbooks from the '60's that she still uses to bake w/. awww sweet candy coated memories :D

Lydia said...

It's funny how a book like this can conjure up so many memories and warm cuddly feelings! :)