I found the recipe for Pineapple Cookies in a small, local cookbook from a thrift store. These kind of cookbooks are my favorites.
A good example of what I mean by small and local is Cooking With Friends. It’s 66-page, spiral-bound cookbook from the Parkside Assembly of God in St. Louis, Michigan.
I’m sure recipes were collected from members of the Parkside Assembly of God’s Women’s Ministries, then sent off to Cookbook Publishers in Kansas where they were assembled into a cookbook that was used as a fund raiser.
Cookbook Publishers has been in the business of publishing spiral-bound cookbooks for fund raisers since 1947. Even today, you can have them create a fund raising cookbook, a corporate cookbook, a personal cookbook, or a calendar featuring recipes and photos of food. You supply the recipes, they do the printing.
Cooking With Friends has a page showing the church’s worship schedule with a simple line drawing of the church building. Another page shows the Women’s Ministries officers for 1990 and the members of the cookbook committee. If I was hunting for ancestors in the area, this would be a delightful find.
The Table of Contents is pretty standard for these kind of cookbooks:
- Appetizers, Pickles, Relishes
- Soups, Salads, Vegetables
- Main Dishes
- Breads, Rolls, Pastries
- Cakes, Cookies, Desserts
- Candies, Jellies, Preserves
- Beverages, Microwave, Miscellaneous
Before each ‘chapter’ there is a dividing page. One side gives the chapter, the other shows something else. For example, the reverse of the Appetizers, Pickles, Relishes chapter divider is “A Handy Spice And Herb Guide.” It lists 16 popular herbs: allspice, basil, bay leaves, and so on. Curiously, MSG (aka Monosodium Glutamate) is also shown as a spice/herb.
Other chapter dividers include “Food Quantities for 25, 50, and 100 Servings, ” and things likeroasting guides, substitutions, equivalents, sizes of pans and baking dishes, candy making temperatures, and microwave hints.
Like most publications for small organizations, there are “Filler” recipes including one for Happiness Cake, and another for a Happy New Year.
A quick look at the index made it clear that several recipes had duplicate titles:
- 2 Curly Macaroni Salads (both on page 7)
- 2 Happiness Cakes (on page 44 and 45!)
- 2 Rice Puddings (both on page 41)
- 2 Sugar Cookies (both on page 37)
- 2 Zucchini Chocolate Cakes (both on page 46)
In looking at the duplicates, I saw perhaps one or two ingredients were different. You also see this a lot in cookbooks from smaller organizations.
Reading through the cookbook, several recipes caught my attention:
- Keeler Surprise
- Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes
- Chocolate Cherry Bars
- Six Week Muffins
- Carrot Cookies
- Pineapple Cookies
- Peanut Butter Peach Crisp
- Freezer Caramel Corn
I imagine you may be wondering why most of the recipes I’m interested in are sweets. Yes, I love most any sweet you put in front of me. But that’s not why you see so many on the list.
Well, not exactly.
At home I mostly cook vegetarian, with occasional forays into fish or chicken. Never red meat, and rarely pork (except bacon – of course.) Most of my meals are smaller, too. Frankly, a salad with some type of protein (beans, tuna, etc.) is often enough to fill me up.
Older cookbooks are rife with meat and more meat, and large portions to feed families. Casseroles in a 2-qt container go green with mold before I can possibly eat it all. And I’ve never managed to acquire the habit of freezing portions for later consumption (other than soups.) Likewise, I can’t count the number of recipes I’ve tried that ended up being so bland no one -and I mean no one- would finish one plate, let alone consuming the full dish.
But cookies? We’re best friends.
I momentarily thought of adapting the Keeler Surprise, but with a pound of hamburger and packages of brown gravy mix, changed my mind. So, because I had all ingredients on hand, I tried the Pineapple Cookies on page 36.
I didn’t have crushed pineapple, but easily created crushed pineapple (and beat an egg) in the mini-food processor.
The other ingredients were mixed together quickly – including about a half cup of chopped pecans. The whole thing went into the fridge to rest for an hour.
Naturally, I tasted some of the batter, and it was promising.
I plunked down dollops onto the silpat, and slid the baking tray into the oven, and started waiting.
I peaked at 5 minutes and discovered the cookies were spreading.
At 10 minutes, I removed them from the oven and put another pan in. The ones fresh-from-the-oven were nicely browned. I did try 8 minutes, but they weren’t brown enough for me.
I moved them to paper towels to cool off. Giving them a short time to cool off, I grabbed the first one, and took a bite.
A hint of a crunch around the edges, and a cake-like light-as-a-feather inside.
A little fruity, but it not screaming PINEAPPLE. The nutmeg is an afterthought, a behind the scenes flavor. And the occasional hit of salt is a welcomed compliment.
These are lovely for breakfast; after all, there is fruit in them. These are lovely for afternoon coffee. Someone adventurous might drizzle them with dark chocolate. But me?
I’m eating them just as they are: light, fluffy, and so very, very good.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 9 oz can crushed pineapple, with juice
- 3½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup nuts, chopped, optional
- Mix butter, sugar, and egg together thoroughly. Stir in remaining ingredients and optional nuts.
- Chill at least 1 hour.
- Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until when touched lightly with finger, no imprint remains. Bake at 400 for 8 to 10 minutes.