One of the benefits of being unemployed at the moment is the opportunity to invite old friends for lunch. Inviting people to dinner seems just that little bit more formal, but lunch, lunch can mean soup and sandwiches. Today my former coworker, and now unemployed friend, came for lunch. I worked with her for 14 years and know that we share farming backgrounds so serving Farmer’s Daughters’ Cookies would be meaningful for us both. The recipe comes from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book and was contributed by Mrs.Cressman.
I made these cookies along with lunch preparations so they are quite easy to mix up. I creamed the butter and sugar and then added the egg. After so many recipes that required up to a dozen egg it was a surprise to use just one. However, it is very suitable at this time of year. The production of eggs naturally decreases when daylight levels decline since hens don’t lay eggs much in winter. I next added the cream. I used whipping cream but a lighter cream would work. I mixed in the baking soda and cinnamon. Now I had to start adding flour. I started with two cups of flour and had a nice soft dough but it was impossible to roll. I added a little more flour and finally decided to take teaspoons of the dough and drop them on a cookie sheet. I flattened them slightly with my hand and then put the pan in the oven to bake at 400 ° F. for 5 or 6 minutes. The cookies became very flat and they spread into each other. The smelled wonderful.
There are far too many possibilities to identify Mrs. Cressman. I wish she had included an initial to at least narrow down the group of women in Berlin Ontario married to men with the surname Cressman. Mary Ann and Menno; Mary Ann and Allen; and Leah is a widow. If Waterloo is included there’s Voronica and Abrah; Vallinia and Jacob; Mary and Cyrus; and so on.
We sampled the cookies after lunch. The first thing my friend said was “My mother used to make cookies like this!” These are very thin crisp cookies and I ate far too many. Fortunately, my taster took some home. They are good basic cookies with a nice hint of cinnamon. They spread a lot on the baking sheet. Perhaps adding some more flour would help prevent the spread and make it easier to roll them out. However, they contain a lot of butter so I expect they will always spread. The cookies are very pliable when they come out of the oven so they could be shaped for added fun. These Farmer’s Daughters make good cookies.
FARMER’S DAUGHTERS’ COOKIES
1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup sweet cream, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix soft and roll thin, bake in a quick oven.