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On a recent night, in response to a sudden and undeniable craving for a chocolate cookie, I took a quick look through the cookbook I inherited from my husband’s grandmother. It contains about two dozen clippings and handwritten recipes she slipped into its covers over the years. I vow to try all of them, but this one intrigued me because of the Halloween ad printed on the back!

Nice horn rim’s, huh? I think these are supposed to be kids, dressing as grownups for Halloween.

With only the style of the ad and the horn rim’s to go by, I’m going to guess that this recipe was printed sometime in the early 1950’s. (If anyone can give a more accurate estimation, please do so in the comments!)

Meanwhile, the cookie recipe on the other side of the paper was easy and really good. It doesn’t have a strong chocolate flavor but it’s light and fluffy, kind of like a tea cookie. It stands with or without frosting.

• 4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
• 1 cup plus two tablespoons shortening
• 3 ½ cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups light brown sugar
• 2 eggs, beaten until they are thick and piled softly
• 1 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Warm chocolate and 2 tablespoons shortening in microwave on 50 percent power for about a minute or until melted. Mix thoroughly and set aside to cool.

Chocolate, melted. Really, I could have just eaten this and been done with it!

Blend flour, baking powder and salt-set aside.

Salt, flour, baking powder-check!

Cream one cup shortening and vanilla extract together. Add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy. Add eggs and beat thoroughly.

The dough, after the eggs were added.

Blend in the cooled chocolate-shortening mixture.

Add the flour and milk alternately in four rounds, blending well after each addition.

Drop by rounded teaspoons about two inches apart on greased cookie sheet.

Ready for the oven!

Bake for 16 minutes. Cool and serve!

Time for a snack

Enjoy! (makes about 4 dozen cookies)