Today, I decided to test an old cookie recipe of my Grandmother's and see if it should be included in the cookbook. (All of the recipes in the cookbook are original, and almost all of them are mine--there are however a few exceptions: there will be a couple of my Grandmother's original recipes and my Mom's Key Lime Pie that I mentioned in my first post). Old family recipes are wonderful and should be shared with the world. However, sometimes it is helpful to remember the issues of the old days.
The recipe that I tested today was for Ginger Puff Cookies. They sounded delish and included my husband's favorite cookie ingredient, molasses, so I thought that I would give them a try and see if they were Kitchen Tart Cookbook worthy. As I read and reread the recipe before making the dough I felt that something was missing...eggs. I am a firm believer though in making a recipe just the way that it is written the first time around, and then making changes later if you wish.
So, I proceeded without the eggs.
When I was finished mixing the dough I noticed that it had the consistency of a graham cracker crust before you put it into the pan...dry and crumbly, but just sticky enough to come together. I rolled the cookies into "walnut sized balls" as the recipe called for and put them in the oven. When they came out they were puffed and gingery, and actually quite good, but the modern girl in me really missed the egg.
What I had not really thought about before I made this recipe, is that it was likely written during World War II when eggs were rationed and in kitchens across America recipes that did without were popping up to replace pre-rationing standards. It probably, and this is just a guess because I can never be sure, was not that my Grandmother wanted to make cookies without eggs, it was more likely what she needed to do. I wonder now if she missed the eggs the first time that she tried them too?
Because the cookie was tasty, I have decided to test it again later this week or next, and with no disrespect meant to my grandmother, one of the best home cooks I have ever known, I plan to add an egg or two. I will let you know how it goes...