Blog Archive

“Something to Smile About”


It’s late September – school is back in full swing, the nights are getting cooler, and the need for fresh baked cookies is getting stronger.

"Autumn In Central Park" By Christopher Schoenbohm

The cozy feeling and inciting smell that warm oatmeal cookies produce is certainly not a new phenomenon, as this recipe for Quaker Oats Spice cookies, found in one of the apartments in 97 Orchard can attest. We found a whole bunch of recipes in this apartment, some bound in little booklets, and other loose like this recipe, which probably dates from the 1930’s. We don’t know to whom this recipe belonged, but we can be pretty sure that it brought some smiles to hungry kids (and a few adults too) on early autumn afternoons.

This recipe is nearly identical to the current Quaker oatmeal cookies (today’s recipe calls for margarine rather than shortening…).  Sometimes, it’s these little things that can remind us that real people once lived within the walls of our museum, and that in the 1930’s, just like today, a cookie and a glass of milk can go a long way in making a day seem a little bit better.

For those of you having a hard time making out the measurements, here they are:

1 cup brown sugar                                           1/2 cup milk

¼ cup shortening                                            2 tsp baking powder

3 cups quick Quaker Oats                              1/2 tsp baking soda

1 ½ cups flour                                                 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg

½ cup raisins                                                   1 tsp nutmeg

1 egg                                                                 1  tsp salt

Sift flour before measuring. Mix all dry ingredients except sugar. Melt shortening and mix thoroughly with brown sugar. Add egg and beat well. Pour in milk, then dry ingredients (to which raisins have been added). Drop on greased pan, bake in hot oven (450) for 20 minutes. Yields 36 cookies.


– Posted by Lib Tietjen