Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas Cooky Book

This is the Western Electric Power Company Christmas Cooky Book. There is no date, but I'd say early 70's at the latest. It is a charming little pamphlet, but the pictures look like they were taken in someone's basement. Look at the second picture - of what I think is Mrs. Beasley and Skipper, in front of a not-to-scale oven. The 40 page booklet has all the traditional cookies with this type of wonderful pictures on each page, many with strange poems. Some pictures are actually of the food, too.
I'm going to try this one today for my friends for holiday presents. I try to do 4 - 6 kinds in a nice tin for lots of folks at work and family.

Chocolate Peppermint Spritz
1 cup butter (yes, I know - but it does help the Spritz hold together in the press)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted

Cream butter; add sugar gradually; beat in egg and extracts. Blend in sifted dry ingredients. Divide dough in half. Mix cooled chocolate into one half of dough. Chill coughs. Knead white dough, then chocolate in hands until soft and pliable. Place alternate pieces of white and chocolate dough into cooky press. (This will create a marbled effect based on the picture.) Press dough through cooky press onto ungreased cooky sheets. Use butterfly, daisy or other small cooky press plates. (not sure why, and I'm certainly not going to follow that - I'd like to see some marbled snowmen, personally) Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes. Makes about 8 dozen depending on size. (Based on size of what? Stomach?)

What is up with spelling cookie like 'cooky'? I see it a lot in the 1960's/1970's titles, and I think it is a little 'kooky'.

I'm curious about this booklet. Clearly, it was designed for housewives using a lot of power on their baking. I've seen other WE booklets at antique stores, but this is the only one with the cute pictures. I wonder if the employees contributed recipes, pictures or in this case - dolls and weird dollhouse furniture. Was there a committee? And who wrote the poems?

I went to a wonderful training yesterday in Chicago on boards and fundraising from Boardsource ( The speaker was Chuck Loring, who helps lots of non-profits with fundraising. I was sent as I'm Fiscal Officer for YALSA. It was amazing - I am all charged up with ideas, where I thought I would be bored. He told lots of stories of things not to do. I do this in my own workshops - it's much more fun for participants to hear stories of things gone wrong, especially when they are funny - rather than a 'see how great my programs are' presentation. Also everyone feels their own situation is not so bad then. I've had evaluations where folks have written "I never knew her library had so many quirks and I feel better now."

Last night I read Hattie Big Sky to review. It was wonderful, and I was very emotional over the book. It's about the author's ancestor who homesteaded by herself in Montana as a teen. I was afraid it would be all a big copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but the characters were so engaging.

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