December 21, 2018

World War I Era Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe and Present Tags

***Humble plea from the web mistress: This time period is my favorite time period to cook from. It's also the time period I have the most recipes for. It's also the time period that gets absolutely no readers. So if you could like, share on facebook, cook and let people know how much you like reading about and cooking recipes from the time period, I would be very appreciative.*** 

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

I was originally going to bake the peanut cookies from the Royal Baking Powder Company's Best War Time Recipes (1917) but ended up finding a fun article from 1914 in The Women's Magazine that gave ideas for a children's Christmas Party. It declared "Every child likes peanut-butter cookies," and how could I argue with that?

World War 1 Cookie Recipe

The article also described some Children's Christmas game ideas: Pin the hat on Santa, a similar game called "The Christmas Candle" where the kids would be blindfolded, spun around and would try to blow out a candle on a ledge in front of them in 6 blows. Another game had two children see who could throw more pieces of popcorn into a fake "stocking," and win a small prize tied into the toe of the stocking.

The article especially intrigued me because it was published in January, not December. Some people were still celebrating until January 5th, or the "12 Days of Christmas." In the 1700s, New Year's was the time of feastivities and Christmas was more of a solemn holiday. By the early 1900s, Christmas had its own festivities and traditions. I think this is a wonderful concept because I can't always see everyone on Christmas but 12 days is probably enough to meet up with everyone.. :) I was also entertained at the suggestion of ice cream in January, when everyone had the ice and temperatures to make it.   

The Women's Magazine also included the darling gift tags, which I've attached at the bottom in case anyone still has a few gifts they are wrapping and the recipe from Best War Time Recipes if anyone would like to try it. I might make those in the future to see how good the ration recipe compares to a recipe printed on the eve of war. 

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

The recipe was in paragraph form though and I thought I would break it down for beginning cooks.

WWI Era Peanut Butter Cookies


- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter (2 Sticks)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tsp Lemon Extract
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 5 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Peanuts, chopped
- 1/4 Cup Boiling water
- Icing [Here's a basic Icing Recipe.]


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large size bowl, cream the butter, sugar and peanut butter and boiling water. Let cool (so you don't cook the egg) add the extracts and salt. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Mix flour mixture into liquid mixture until it forms a firm dough. Knead for a few minutes with your hands until it is well combined. Roll 1 inch balls out of the dough and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Once removed from the oven flatten them down with a fork. Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Once cooled, ice and top with chopped peanuts.

The cookies do not spread in the oven at all so don't worry too much about crowding them. If you want spoon drop the cookies onto the sheet, that would work too.

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

December 12, 2018

Civil War Era Orange Nuts Recipe

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865

The holidays are coming and that means acres of oranges will enter our homes to grace tables, bob in punches and add tang to cider.  Orange Nuts, hard biscuits with a strong citrus flavor are the perfect, Civil War Era thing to compliment gingerbread, cider or tea. They are also a great way to use up all of those otherwise wasted peels.

Orange Nuts are a variety of Ginger Nuts, a recipe still popular today. Click the link to see the ginger nuts recipe I made last Christmas!  This recipe was also printed in Godey's Lady's Book and Peterson's Magazine in 1865 and was still being published verbatim in 1883.

Civil War Era Orange Nuts Recipe

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865


- 1 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 2-4 Orange Peels, zested
- 2-4 Lemons Peels, zested


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat for 15 minutes. Add flour and zest and mix until fully combined. Add flour until your dough is stiff enough that it can be rolled in your hands without sticking. Roll into one inch balls. Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865

I hope everyone has a safe holiday season! I'm going to try and blog all of the different things I bake this year and would love to hear and see pictures of what you are baking!

September 12, 2018

WWI / WWII Cucumber Stuffed Tomato Salad

WWI WWII recipe Salad

Today's post is brought to you by me being incredibly bored of everything I've been cooking lately, the recent tomato harvest, and me attempting on getting more veggies in my diet. Plus I'm crazy about tomato and mayo sandwiches with pepper on them so this seems fun and in the same taste palate. It was very hot out when I started cooking this but thanks to the hurricane it's now a bit too cold to want to eat salad. Sorry!

The fun thing about this recipe is that even though the name changed throughout the years, the recipe itself changed very little from WWI to WWII. The earlier versions of this recipe call for Cream Dressing instead of mayo, although mayo did exist at that time, and for the tomatoes to be served on a bed of lettuce instead of cups of lettuce. I included the Cream Dressing recipe below if you wanted to try it. 

WWI WWII recipe Salad

WWI / WWII Stuffed Tomato Salad

- 6 Tomatoes
- 2 Cucumbers
- Mayonaise
- 1 tsp Parsley
- Lettuce
-Salt and Pepper

Peel and cube cucumbers, place in bowl and mix in mayonnaise and chill in refrigerator. Scald and peel the tomatoes. Cut a bit off the top and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place tomatoes in lettuce cups, fill with the cucumber cubes top with a dollop of mayonnaise, then garnish with parsley. 

This ultimately gives you a way to plate a cute salad. If I was to make this again, I would probably leave the skins on the tomato for the texture and because it would make it easier to scrape out the insides. The lettuce cups would be easier to make with some toothpicks or if each wrapped tomato is served in individual salad bowls. If made in advanced it would be best to serve the dressing on the side as well.  

August 20, 2018

USS Ling Vandalized

Last weekend, vandals opened the hatches of The USS Ling, a WWII Balao class submarine in Hackensack, NJ with power tools and stole the memorial plaques honoring the men who died in the 52 submarines and lost during the war. I can't speak much to the battle that was going on with the sub, the attached museum and impending construction of luxury residential area but it hardly seems unrelated. Construction is set to start in September. As of now, she's sunk in the mud with 10 ft of water in her which can't be emptied until environmentalists give the okay. 

There's a lot I can say about this. The fact that national treasures can be destroyed in the night with no repercussions or mass public outrage is so disheartening. I know it's difficult for communities to spend money on historical sites when the communities need so many other things in the short term, but in the long term these sites are so important. WWII is becoming a vague memory as veterans die off and more current conflicts are in the spotlight. The Ling was used as a training vessel until the 1960s so you can still find people with memories of training on her. When we visited this weekend there were 5 or 6 people saying their goodbyes. 

USS Ling during sea trials, in 1945 

It would be amazing if you could donate at Restore the USS Ling. 

If you can't donate, it would be great if you could post about this on your Facebook or Twitter. 

July 24, 2018

WWII Blueberry Muffin Recipe

1940s WWII World War Two Recipe Blueberry Muffin

Back from the WWII, Berwick, PA event hosted by the Stuart Tank Memorial Association! Despite the rain, everyone had a great time. I brought these muffins to share and while they were a little dry when I made them, they ended up moist after a day of being under saran wrap. Saran wrap didn't hit the shelves until after the war but the plastic used for saran wrap was developed during the war to make ventilated insoles for combat boots. I think a tupperware container would have the same effect. The boys ate them up at the event.

This recipe is from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook (1942.) In accordance with the wartime shortages, this recipe has less butter and eggs than we're used to in modern times.

WWII Blueberry Muffin Recipe

- 2 Cups all-purpose Flour
- 3 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbs Sugar
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 1 Cup Milk (or 1/2 Cup of Evaporated Milk + 1/2 Cup Water)
- 4 Tbs Vegetable Oil or Melted Shortening
- Canned or Frozen Blueberries, well rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients. Slowly stir in the oil, milk, and eggs and mix until it has a lumpy appearance but no longer. Grease cupcake pan (I found it better to grease and flour it.)  Place 2 tablespoons of batter in each cup, cover with 1 tsp of blueberries and then top with 1 tablespoon of batter. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops are golden. Makes about 14 muffins.