Friday, February 5, 2016


Last Friday was a gorgeous day with unseasonably warm temperatures for January. My friend Janice and I took full advantage of the day and went to a number of estate sales. The only cookbook I bought, I found at the very first place we went.

It was a "vintage" cookbook published in 1908 by the Walter Baker & Co., Ltd. called Choice Recipes by Miss Parloa and other Noted Teachers. It is a small (only 64 pages), thin, paperback cookbook. It contains many, many recipes - most contain chocolate since the Walter Baker & Co., Ltd., were manufacturers of cocoa and chocolate preparations in Dorchester, Mass (since 1780).

I don't know how many actual recipes I will be able to make (there are no oven temperatures - I wonder why? and most of the recipes do not contain the size of container or baking time) But I am quite proud of my find.

I almost forgot to tell you. The cookbook wasn't marked so I had to go ask how much it was. She looked at it and said, "Oh that is a vintage book. Let me see (lifting a pricing sheet she had)." I was preparing myself for her to tell me several dollars. Instead, she said, "Vintage books are two for fifty cents." Talk about surprised! I managed to control my emotions though and said simply, "Thank you."

I did find one recipe on page 52 that I felt I could make without too much thought. Cocoa Biscuits. It said to bake them in a very hot oven 10 - 15 minutes. That sounds like my own original recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits. A very hot oven = 450 degrees.

I decided to make them the next morning and enjoy them for breakfast. Because of that, I decided to add a thin powdered sugar glaze to them to add a little more sweetness, more like a cake donut. 

The recipe didn't say, but I would imagine they were made and served for afternoon tea.


2      cups or 1 pint of sifted flour,
3      level teaspoonfuls baking powder,
1/2   teaspoonful salt,
2      level tablespoonfuls sugar,
4      level tablespoonfuls cocoa,
2      level tablespoonfuls butter or lard (I did use butter)
2/3  cup milk or enough to make a firm but not a stiff dough (I did use almost a cup)

(Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.)

Sift all the dry ingredients together, rub in the butter with the tips of the fingers. Stir in the required amount of milk. Turn out on slightly floured board, roll or pat out the desired thickness, place close together in pan and bake in very hot oven ten or fifteen minutes.

I thinly sliced the butter to make it easier to "rub in the butter"

At the last minute I just added the last little bit of milk (the whole cup) and that was a little too much. It just meant I had to add a little more flour on the "floured board" so it wouldn't stick.

I always just pat out my biscuits when I make them.
I didn't spray my pan, but might next time. They would have come out of the pan a little easier.

After 10 minutes....

As I said, I mixed up a thin glaze (a heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar and a little bit of milk) 
and spooned it over the hot biscuits. I left one unglazed (on the left), but my husband said the glazed ones tasted better (sweeter).

No comments:

Post a Comment