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.
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.
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.
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 15minutes
Cook Time 12minutes
Author Vera Marie Badertscher
1CupBrown sugar Sieved so there are no lumps
1/2Cupsour milkRoom temperature (See Note)
2 squareschocolateMelted and brought to room temperature
1 1/2CupCake flour(See Note)
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.
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.
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 Cookbookby 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.
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.