Chocolate Drop Cookies, a Vintage Recipe

Chocolate drop cookies with white frosting.

Recently, I posted on Facebook a picture of a loaf of bread that I made with a recipe from Ken’s maternal grandmother, Helen Kohler. Bless Social Media. The picture of the loaf of bread led me to a batch of Chocolate Drop Cookies.

Do you remember the 3-way bread recipe that I published nearly 3 years ago? Check back to see the recipe that can be used for free-form bread, rolls, or coffee cake. Later I used an adaptation of the recipe to make Swiss New Year’s Bread. Last week I used the same recipe to make two loaf pans of bread. So now it is a 5-way recipe! This is still my favorite bread recipe. Thank you Grandma Kohler. And thank you Kay Badertscher Bass for passing the recipe on to me.

And thanks to Facebook for allowing this conversation between Ken’s cousins, reminiscing about their Grandma’s cooking. Someone mentioned Chocolate Drop Cookies that Grandma kept in a big blue enameled pan. Several others remembered them. Then Beth posted the recipe card. She didn’t remember where she got it, but it is labeled “Grandma Kohler,” and meets the criteria that everyone remembered of the Chocolate Drop Cookies that Grandma frosted with confectioners sugar.

Grandma Kohler’s chocolate cookies

I cheated a little on the authenticity of my husband’s cousins’ memories. I frosted half the cookies in a simple confectioner’s sugar white frosting, and half in the same frosting with cocoa powder added. Apologies to Grandma Kohler, but I never get enough chocolate.

Chocolate drop cookies in black and white

In the recipe below, I have expanded on some of the sketchy directions, but stuck to the recipe. They bake up puffy and soft and they are unlike any cookies that I have made before. I am so grateful to Kay for sharing the post on Facebook and thus starting the conversation, and for Beth providing the precious recipe.

Chocolate Drop Cookies Cooling
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Chocolate Drop Cookies, a Vintage Recipe

A favorite cookie of my husband's cousins when they went to Grandma's house, Chocolate Drop Cookies is an authentic vintage recipe.
Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword cookie, chocolate, vintage recipe, Helen Kohler
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Author Vera Marie Badertscher

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Butter Room temperature
  • 1 Cup Brown sugar Sieved so there are no lumps
  • 1 egg Room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup sour milk Room temperature (See Note)
  • 2 squares chocolate Melted and brought to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cake flour (See Note)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line with parchment paper, two cookie pans.
  • Melt chocolate in microwave (See Note for alternate method). Set aside to cool
  • Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and sift together into medium bowl.
  • Cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth
  • Beat egg into butter/sugar mixture. Stir in sour milk, then stir in cooled, melted chocolate.
  • Fold in dry ingredients only until well blended. Do not overbeat.
  • Drop by tablespoon, 1" apart on cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Test by touching top of cookie. It should still be soft but no leave an indentation.
  • Cool on pan for ten minutes and remove to cooling rack.
  • When totally cool, frost with confectioners sugar frosting of your choice.

Notes

When sour milk is called for, you can use regular whole or 2% milk and add vinegar.  For 1/2 cup sour milk, add 1/2 Tablespoon of vinegar to the 1/2 cup milk and let stand 5 minutes.  If you do not want to bother with this, it is perfectly acceptable to substitute 1/2 cup of sour cream or buttermilk. Plain yogurt will work as well. Just be sure it is not flavored.
Melting chocolate. The chocolate will melt more quickly and evenly if you chop it with a large knife before melting. I do not have a microwave so I had to come up with a different way to melt chocolate.  I put the chopped chocolate in a small pyrex dish and set it on top of my electric stove where the hot air from the oven comes through.  This recipe calls for such a small amount of chocolate that it melts very quickly.

Now that I am well stocked with cookies, I need to get back to the complex research of Obadiah Stout and his family’s wanderings through the west. See you next week.

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