The Cookie That Has Everything- Banana Oatmeal Cookie Plus

I just got a cookbook packed with Swiss recipes, so we’ll be back with lots of Swiss cooking as we continue to pursue Ken’s relatives–mostly Ohio Swiss and German farmers. The book is out of print, but I got a used copy through Amazon. The Swiss Cookbook by Nika Standen Hazelton, published in 1967.

Meanwhile, I want to share my family’s number one favorite cookie. Usually, I’m talking about recipes that might have been made by our ancestors, or recipes handed down from my mother or my grandmother or other relative.  This recipe went the other direction.  Mother liked the banana oatmeal cookie so much that she copied my recipe.

Oatmeal Nugget Cookie is a  banana oatmeal cookie but with a little bit of everything else you love in a cookie.  If you want an oatmeal cookie, a chocolate chip cookie, a cookie that reminds you of banana bread, here’s your cookie.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Family Favorite: Banana Nugget Cookies

I’ve been making these so long that I cannot remember where I first got the recipe.  Sometimes it seems that the main reason to buy bananas is to have some leftovers for these cookies.  Feel free to add or subtract ingredients as you please.

Just for kicks, I tried them with Cup4Cup™ wheat flour substitute and it worked fine, so you can feel free to serve them to people with gluten sensitivity. They do not have a lot of sugar, and other than the fact that there’s quite a bit of butter, you can pretend they are totally healthy.


Family Favorite: Banana Nugget Cookies

Serves 2 1/2 Doz
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Allergy Egg, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
A family favorite oatmeal-banana cookie that also has chocolate and nuts.


  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinammon
  • 3/4 cups butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg (well beaten)
  • 2-3 ripe bananas (Equal to a heaping cup)
  • 1 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 8oz chocolate chips (small package)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)


1. Sift or whisk together dry ingredients.
2. Cut in butter
3. Beat bananas in small bowl and mix with egg. Add to flour mixture.
4. Add oats, chocolate pieces and nuts if you are using them, and stir well by hand.
5. Drop by tablespoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet
6. Bake at 400 degrees 15 minutes. (Bottom will brown quickly, so watch carefully).


52 Ancestors: October – The Bair Family

Adam Daniel Bair

Adam Daniel Bair, Born October 30 1890

Do I have an ancestor with a birthday or anniversary in October to write about for the 52 Ancestors challenge theme this week? Three close family members–husband, brother and first grand daughter–have birthdays in October. More to the point, the man whose family I wanted to write about today was born in October. How convenient.  If you did not read the sad story of the too-short life and love of Adam Daniel Bair , please go to Helen Stucky Bair Kohler Faces a Challenge.

I am starting a series on the Bair branch of my husband’s family with a look at the family of Adam Daniel Bair, who, it so happens was born on October 30. I’ll start with his father, but the women of the family are the ones who really interest me, so you will hear about them soon.

Daniel Manbeck Bair 1850-1920

Daniel is Kenneth Ross Badertscher’s great-grandfather, the grandfather of his mother. Daniel was named for his father, and his middle name is his mother’s surname.  She was Elizabeth Manbeck, and I’ll be pursuing the Manbeck line in future weeks. Daniel Manbeck Bair was born July 3, 1850 in Tuscarawas County Ohio and that is where he spent his life.

His father died in 1869, and the young Daniel worked the family farm with his widowed mother until he married Caroline Limbach in 1874. Caroline’s parents came from Bavaria, and I will be tracing her family in the coming weeks.

When they first got married, Daniel worked as a carpenter, but he turned to farming and that was his life.

Daniel and Caroline had seven children, over the next twenty years. Adam Daniel Bair, Ken’s grandfather, was the next to youngest of the three girls and four boys. He got his middle name from his father and his first name from his father’s older brother, Adam Bair (b. 1839).

  • Cora Estella Bair (Mutti) (1875-1945)
  • Austin E. (1877-1943)
  • Bertha (1881-1961?)
  • Martin Luther Bair (1883-1963)
  • William Elmer Bair(1887-1969)
  • Adam Daniel (October 30, 1889-1919)*
  • Clara C. (1895-1967)

Adam would hardly have known is older sister Cora, since she was sixteen years older than he was and she married when he was only five years old. By the time Adam was eleven, his brothers William and Martin had married as well.

A mysterious newspaper article appears on February 28, 1895 in The Ohio Democrat (a New Philadelphia, Ohio newspaper).

Daniel Bair, a young man of this city was taken to Cleveland last week to appear before the United States court on a charge of handling peculiar money.  He was fined $75 and costs which was paid and he returned home.

Strictly speaking, Daniel Manfield Bair did not live in “this city”, since he lived on a farm in a different township.  So, could it be a different Daniel Bair? Or, with another child being born (the last child, Clara was born the year of this incident), did he get involved in a get-rich-quick-scheme? We’ll probably never know.

When the oldest son, Austin, was twenty-three (1900), he was working as a servant for another family, and by 1910 he had been married five years and had a two-year-old child of his own, so he was not around much when Adam was a child.

Bertha had her first child, Florence, in May 1898, but married Peter Beaber in 1899.  Although the 1900 census clearly states that Florence’s birth date was March 1898 and she is two years old, her birth date is changed to 1899 on the 1910 census and all records after that, including Social Security.

Bertha was a bit of a mystery to figure out. Since there is no extant 1890 census for the area, it is difficult to figure out what happened to a girl born in 1881, who could have been married before the 1900 census, the case with Bertha. However, thanks to Ancestry hints and confirmation by tracing her children’s birth records, I confirmed that Bertha did marry a Peter Bieber.

As was common with farm families in those days, the children went to school only through eighth grade at the most. Bertha only got as far as 5th grade and her husband only to 3rd. Instead, the boys worked on the farm or for neighbor families and the girls helped out at home.

The Bair boys seemed to have an entrepreneurial spirit. Austin owned a butcher shop and William was a lumber dealer, after being a coal miner and before working as a farm laborer.  Martin changed jobs from mining to trucking and was a school janitor in his later years. All of the Bair children stayed in Ohio, in Tuscarawas County, except William, who retired to Texas.

The last two children to leave the nest, Adam and Clara, married in 1912 and 1914 (Clara married on October 30, 1914, as it happens).  Daniel and Caroline’s son Adam had been the only one of their sons who set out to follow in his father’s footsteps as a farmer, but he died a year before his father, when he was only 29 years old. Their father, Daniel Manbeck Bair, died at the age of 70 in the summer of 1920.

Daniel Bair

Daniel M. Bair Tombstone 1850-1920
Caroline 1854-1836

How Ken is Related

  • Kenneth Ross Badertscher is the son of
  • Agnes Bair Badertscher, who is the daughter of
  • Adam Daniel Bair, who is the son of
  • Daniel Manfield Bair.

Research notes:

  • United States Census reports 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 (York Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio). 1930, 1940 (Dover, Ohio); 1930 (Monroe, Guernsey, Ohio), 1940 (Rural, Cameron, Texas)
  • Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, and Ohio Department of Health, Daniel Manbeck Bair, Cora Estella Bair, Austin Ellsworth Bair, Bertha Bair Beaber, Martin Luther Bair, Adam Daniel Bair, Clara C. Bair Weigand
  • Web: Ohio, Find A Grave Index, 1787-2012,, Daniel Manbeck Bair, Cora Estella Bair Mutti, Austi Ellsworth Bair, Bertha Bair Beaber, Martin Luther Bair, Adam Daniel Bair, Clara C. Bair Weigand
  • Web: Texas, Find A Grave Index, 1761-2012, William Elmer Bair
  • Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1962, Cora Estella Bair,, William Elmer Bair, Clara C. Bair Weigand
  • U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: Ohio, Austin Ellsworth Bair, Martin Luther Bair, William Elmer Bair
  • U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Tuscarawas; Roll: 1851246; Draft Board: 2  Martin Luther Bair, William Elmer Bair, Adam Daniel Bair

Swiss Carrot Cake

Well, how about that? Carrot cake is really a Swiss idea. And so are those little carrots to decorate it.

Swiss carrot cake with marzipan

Aargauer Rubiltorte with marzipan carrots from Liliana Fuchs on Flickr with Creative Commons license

I discovered a site that has a good deal of information about Swiss culture, including some recipes, like Swiss carrot cake.  The Swiss Center’s recipes are from various regions of Switzerland, and I focused on an unusual one-layer carrot cake from Aargau. The proper name of the cake is Aargauer Rueblitorte, and it would probably be more accurate to call it an almond-carrot cake, since they share equallyby volume or a lemon-carrot-almond cake by taste.

Close up of Swiss carrot cake

Close up of Aargau carrot cake

Aargau is a small canton on the northern edge of Switzerland, north of Zurich, rather than Bern, where most of the people we’ve been discussing are from, but I have to believe that these recipes were shared across borders. Apparently, Aargau is known for raising carrots, along with other fruits and vegetables. While farmers were trading their cheeses from Bern to the carrots of the Aargauer, perhaps the wives swapped recipes for swiss fondue and Swiss carrot cake?

The recipe is not difficult, but there are several steps to prep before you start mixing the cake, so I added detail to the recipe as it appears on the Swiss Culture site–much more than I usually write out.

The cake is somewhat like a sponge cake, and instead of the spices that you usually think of in a carrot cake, it is brightened with lemon–like the Swiss Pound Cake I talked about last week. The Aargau Carrot Cake is MUCH lighter than the traditional American carrot cake, and I think there is room for both recipes in your repretoire, because this one is absolutely delicious.  Although the recipe is for a one-layer cake, there is certainly no law against doubling the recipe and making it a layer cake. By the way, I did put a glaze on–you can see drips on the cake plate. However, for some reason which I have not figured out, the glaze sunk right into the cake instead of coating the top. (No the top was not warm.)

Swiss carrot cake-two layer

Two-layer version. But the glaze sunk in.

Swiss Carrot Cake

Serves 10-12
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Region European
Website Swiss Center
This authentic Swiss carrot cake recipe is quite different. The one-layer cake is similar to a sponge cake.


  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (One lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (Or juice of one lemon)
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots (Grate by hand or use food processor)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated almonds (Or use almond meal)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar (For optional glaze)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (For optional glaze)


1. Set out equipment: One large and one smaller mixing bowl; measuring cups, measuring spoons; several small bowls or cups for ingredients during prep; rubber spatula for folding egg whites; electric mixer with regular beaters and with an whip/egg beater attachment. (If you do not have an egg beater for your electric mixer, plan on mixing the batter by hand, and then using the regular beaters for the egg whites, OR plan to wash the beaters VERY CAREFULLY between the batter and the egg whites.)
2. Cut parchment paper to fit bottom of 9" pan, place in pan and lightly oil. Sprinkle flour over and shake out excess flour. Set aside.
Set oven on at 350 degrees.
3. Put 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl and set aside.
4. chopped carrots
Grate or grind in processor the carrots.Measure one cup and set aside for batter.
5. Zest lemon and juice it, straining out seeds and fiber. Set aside for batter.
6. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl
7. Measure 1 cup of ground almonds or almond meal, set aside for batter.
8. Separate eggs, putting yolks in bowl with sugar and whites in small bowl. Put the whites in the refrigerator until ready to beat.
9. Beat the egg yolks and sugar for seveal minutes until very light yellow.
10. Add carrots, lemon juice and rind, almonds, flour mixture. Mix well.
11. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. (Another measure is to tilt the bowl. If they do not flow out of bowl, they are ready). Gently fold whites into batter until there are no white streaks.
12. Swiss carrot cake batter
Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Test by pushing gently on center of cake. When it springs back and is no longer soft, the cake is ready.
14. Let cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and peel off paper. Let cool, right side up on rack. Then move to serving plate and if you wish, dribble with lemon juice/confectioner's sugar glaze, or sprinkle with sifted confectioner's sugar.


The Swiss carrot cake recipe is not difficult to make, but it pays to be meticulous in preparing ingredients. Therefore, I have included more Prep instructions than I usually do.

Watch the baking time, as the edges burn quite easily, even though I lowered the temperature 10 degrees from that recommended on the Swiss Center website.