While tidying up my cereal cupboard this morning, I discovered I had a bag of oatmeal. I wasn’t inclined to have porridge on such a warm day, but I decided to use some of the oats to make Mrs. H. Rittinger’s recipe for Quakerettes from the Cookies section of the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. I am assuming these will be oatmeal cookies.
Quaker Oats had been advertised for many years by the time this cookbook was published and I suspect that is why the word quaker isn’t even capitalized in the recipe. Oatmeal was synonymous with the Quaker brand by 1906. Mrs. Rittinger’s Quaker Oatmeal would likely come from the branch plant in Peterborough Ontario. The factory had opened in 1901.
I creamed the butter and sugar together and then added the two medium eggs. I was hesitant to add the entire amount of cinnamon but decided to trust the recipe. It really darkened everything but it smelled good. I put the tablespoon of hot water into a little bowl and dissolved the baking soda in it and then added it to the mixture. Next was the oatmeal and flour and finally the chopped raisins. In 2012 we have seedless raisins but they didn’t exist in 1912. Cooks had to remove the seeds by hand either using fingers or special gadgets such as raisin seeders. It was easiest just to chop the raisins and remove the seeds along the way.
I mixed everything thoroughly and greased a cookie sheet. Using a teaspoon I dropped the dough on and slightly flattened the cookies. The Quakerettes baked for 15 minutes in a 350 degree F. oven.
Laura Haffman was born in the US she came to Canada in 1893. She met and married Herman Rittinger. His parents were both born in Germany. By 1901 they live in Berlin with their sons Allan (6) and Frederick (3). The household includes a 28-year-old roomer named Emmie Nuss and a 16-year-old female servant named L. Schendelner. Everyone is Lutheran except the servant who is Methodist. In the 1911 census the household is just the immediate family living at 21 Ahrens Street. The boys now 16 and 14 must be in school as no occupation is listed for them but Mr. Rittinger is still a printer in a printing shop.
Quakerettes are a good basic oatmeal cookie that would be great cookie tin fillers in 1912. I imagine the Rittinger boys eating these cookies often. Don’t hesitate to add the full amount of cinnamon. I liked the flavour and texture and will likely make them again. If you don’t already have a favourite oatmeal cookie recipe then Mrs. Rittinger’s Quakerettes are worth a try.
3/4 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 scant teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water, 2 cups quaker oats, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup chopped and seeded raisins. Drop in buttered pans and bake.