Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Blame Betty Crocker

My grandparents gave me my first cookbook in 1968, it was a Betty Crocker Boys & Girls Cookbook, with recipes like Whirligig Cinnamon Rolls (using Bisquick), Skillet Pizza-Wich, and Polka-Dot Macaroni and Cheese. That summer I made Brownies from the book and entered them in the Ingham County Fair, winning third place. The next summer I made the same recipe, but included a prettier plate, a doily and sprinkled powdered sugar and won first place (talk about a lesson there).

Encouraged by my enthusiasm for baking, in 1969 Grandpa and Aunt Susie (technically she was a step-grandma and her name was Mildred, but we all called her Susie) gave me the book that I'm sure they hoped would further inspire the "budding chef" in me - but instead it led to a life down a different path. The Betty Crocker Cooky Book contained 151 pages of recipes and pictures that thrilled my imagination of flavors and creation but didn't inspire me to cook, it inspired me to read. I did try several of the recipes over the years, and with the exception of one recipe, it confirmed my actual dislike for the act of baking - especially the clean up part. However I still like to read cookbooks, especially the ones with lots of pictures.

The one cookie that I've made for almost 40 years (and led to me actually keeping a cookbook that long) has also become my kids favorite, and their friends favorite - and it's actually relatively healthy. Even though this isn't a cooking blog, I'll share it here with you.

2 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Heat oven to 325. Stir together oats, sugar and oil in mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until frothy and add to oat mixture. Stir in salt and almond extract. Drop by teaspoonfuls on lightly oiled baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Editor's Note: I would add that these cookies are very gooey and difficult to remove from a baking sheet (even oiled) unless parchment paper is used. If you're not using parchment, remove the cookies from the sheet while still warm. You can also add 1/2 cup of roughly chopped macadamia nuts for a richer cookie.


Margie said...

I had a similar book as a kid. Maybe this same one. I wish I could look through it. I loved baking. Funny, I never bake now.

Your blog is great!

Amy S said...

Margie, I find these old Betty Crockers all the time at Half Price Books. I go to several different stores, each has their own treasures.