a tip of the hat

April 6, 2010

Several Christmases ago, mrslovey gave me Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book.  Her mom had the original 1963 edition, and they baked out of it frequently.  The book had been out of print for quite a while, but there was such a demand from people wanting the book of their childhood that in 2002 Betty Crocker decided to bring it back.  I must admit, I’ve been at bit intimidated by the new version.  The cover art, photos, and illustrations are all authentic to the original, which means some pretty retro-looking images (not always a positive thing).  How to know which recipes held their own over the last fifty-odd years, and which were just a flash in the pan?  When in doubt, just pick a page number and make whatever’s on that page!

One of the things that amuses me about this book is the little notes that precede each recipe.  I’m especially fond of the blurb from page 72, Lemon Crinkles – From Mrs. Alfred T. Neilsen of Council Bluffs, Iowa, who prefers simple and easy recipes that leave her time for her hobby of making hats. Seriously, how could you not want to make these cookies after reading that?!?  Lemon Crinkles it was.  I did make a couple of adjustments to the recipe, as I was missing ground ginger, and wanted to boost the lemon flavor.  These had a great chewy texture, packed a nice zing of lemon, and a little crunch from the sugar.  I want to give full credit to Mrs. Nielsen, so I’ll be giving you a twofer – her recipe, followed by my version.  Whichever one you make, I hope you enjoy.  And also that you’re then suddenly struck with the desire to craft a bonnet or two.   


1/2 cup shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

about 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

1 1/2 cups Gold Medal Flour

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

granulated sugar

  • Heat oven to 350F (mod.).  Mix shortening, sugar, and egg thoroughly; blend in lemon rind.  Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting.  Blend dry ingredients; stir into sugar mixture.  Roll in 1″ balls; dip tops in granulated sugar.  Bake on ungreased baking sheet 10 to 12 min.


1/2 cup shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

juice and zest of one whole lemon

2 cups flour (I use KAF all-purpose)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

sparkling sugar

  • Heat oven to 350F.
  • Mix shortening, sugar lemon juice/zest.  Add egg and blend thoroughly.
  • Add in dry ingredients, stir until combined.  Dough will be very soft and sticky.  Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  • Drop scant tablespoon-sized balls of dough (I used a small cookie scoop) into sparkling sugar, roll to coat half of ball.
  • Place dough balls sugar-side up on greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Remove from pan, cool on rack.


  1. bwah, council bluffs, ia!

  2. all I can say is they are the perfect lemon cookie ever……

  3. I made these cookies to mail to some friends (the HABERDASHERS
    recipe)…they are very soft and have a wonderful lemon flavor. I didn’t have the sparkling sugar so just used granulated sugar, which was fine, just not as decorative. I substituted real butter for the shortening. I’m sure they’ll be a hit! Thanks for sharing.

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