Betty Crocker’s Classic Cooky Book from 1963

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I requested this cookbook for Christmas when I was in junior high school and have loved it ever since.  How can you not love a cookbook filled with classic recipes, and that includes a cookie called a “Ting-a-Ling” along with cookies for salt-restricted, bland, and low-fat diets?  Betty thinks of everything.  I still remember the first recipe I ever tried from this book was the “Green Peppermint Meltaway Cookies,” aptly named because they literally melt in your mouth when you bite into them.  Of course, why not with all that butter!? 
I love everything about this book, including the photos.  There are pages of photos with many kinds of cookies on display on a large table, as if you were getting ready for a holiday cookie exchange.  Nothing is prettier on a Christmas table than dozens upon dozens of colorful cookies of every flavor and type.  I mean, look at that cover! 
My favorite section is probably “Betty’s Best Cookies,” with a photo of about a dozen different cookies, and each labeled as the best of various decades in time.  The best cookie of 1880-1890 was the “Hermit” cookie, filled with raisins and nuts.  The best of 1890-1900 was the “Cinnamon Jumble” which sounds like snickerdoodles.  “Oatmeal Drop” came along in 1900-1910; “Ginger Creams in 1910-1920; the ever-popular “Brownie” in 1920-1930; and “Molasses Crinkles” in 1930-1935 (I still make these).  From 1935-1940 it was all about the chocolate chip cookie whose popularity swept the nation like wildfire.  Refrigerator cookies were popular in the 1940-1945 years, especially the caramel refrigerator.  Refrigerator cookies like these were popular because the dough could be mixed one day, sliced and baked the next.  It was the war efforts of women taking their places in the production lines that meant “home tasks had to be speeded up,” which included cookie baking.  The post war boom brought sugary fruit drops which were welcomed because sugar was rationed during the war. From 1950-1955, “Salted Peanut Crisps”  pleased the younger set.  Cookies became fancy with the introduction of “Bonbon Cookies” in 1955-1960.  Easy jet travel from 1960-1970 made it possible for people to eat foods from other countries, and “French Lace Cookies” became the rage. 
You will find every kind of drop, bar, refrigerator, rolled, pressed, and molded cookie, along with ideas for holidays, lunchbox cookies, cookies for a crowd, cookies for special diets, and cookies that travel well.  Whatever you choose, remember Betty’s motto:  “Happy the home with the full cookie jar.” 

16 Responses to Betty Crocker’s Classic Cooky Book from 1963

  1. Yenta Mary December 3, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Happy Friday! I gave you an award today ….

    http://foodfloozie.blogspot.com/2010/12/be-nice-to-mary-week.html

    Happy, indeed, is a home with a full cookie jar!!!

  2. Debbie Vanni December 3, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Awww… thanks, Mary! I just read your blog. I’m glad you had a good week, and have many fans on your site. You do a great job!

  3. Barb Spigner December 4, 2010 at 5:59 am #

    I remember making cookies (who spells it cooky?) from this cookbook when I was a young girl also.

  4. Debbie Vanni December 4, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    I don’t think even Betty Crocker spells it “cooky” anymore! It looks like a misprint, doesn’t it?!

  5. Barb Spigner December 4, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Yes it does !! But seeing that cover did bring back good memories. I remember making many of the cookies you mention–especially the French Lace cookies.

  6. Debbie Vanni December 4, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    I haven’t made the French lace ones in years. I should make some this month; and for old times sake, I think the green peppermint meltaways will also make a showing!

  7. Barb Spigner December 5, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Yes all good cookies–amazing how your blog here brought back memories of my early baking years–some things I haven’t thought of for probably 30-35 years. I guess I am getting old. I have no idea what happened to my mom’s copy of this cookbook–I guess I will have to search through some boxes of books that I have of hers.

  8. Debbie Vanni December 5, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Barb, I am always on the lookout for books. If you don’t find your mom’s copy and I come across one, I will be happy to get it for you. A couple weeks ago, one of the nice librarians at Fremont in Mundelein found an original copy of the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook from the ’50’s in almost mint condition. Needless to say, I was very excited!

  9. Barb Spigner December 5, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Thanks Debbie !! I don’t think I have it–I must not have taken my mom’s cookbooks when she passed away in 1999 because my dad was still alive and and I can’t remember what happened to her cookbooks when my dad died in 2000. And if I remember correctly I think the BCrocker Cookie (I can’t spell it cooky) Book my mom had had a spiral binder. She didn’t have many cookbooks–but I do have my grandma’s copy of Antoinette and Francois Pope’s cookbook published in 1957. Some great old recipes in that one–always use their recipe for apple pie.

  10. Anonymous December 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    I have “THREE” copies of this book!! It’s my favorite! I have moved multiple times and when I need this book I don’t have it on hand. I am looking for the recipe in the back of the book for “Easy Fudge Frosting,” or at least I think that is the name. If you could find it could you PLEASE give me the recipe? It has a square of unsweetened chocolate, corn syrup, 10X sugar, and I think a little vanilla. I need it to fill my Thumbprint Cookies this Xmas! I would appreciate it very very much if you could give me the recipe. Thanks! Tina

  11. Debbie Vanni December 10, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    Hi Tina- I hope you are reading this, because there is no email address for me to write to you directly. I have the book in front of me, and found the frosting recipes at the end of the book as you mentioned and there are two chocolate ones: Marie’s Chocolate Icing, and Thin Chocolate Icing. Neither one has corn syrup or vanilla, but here are the recipes: For Marie’s Chocolate Icing- Melt 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 square unsweetened chocolate in top of double boiler. Blend in 1-1/2 Tablespoons warm water. Beat in 1 cup of sifted confectioner’s sugar until spreadable. For Thin Chocolate Icing- Melt 1 teaspoon butter and 1 square unsweetened chocolate in top of double boiler. Remove from heat and blend in 2 Tablespoons boiling water and 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar. I looked at all the icings listed in the index and then through the book to see if there was a chocolate or fudge icing with corn syrup and vanilla and didn’t find one. I don’t know if I helped, but write me again if you have any more questions or if I can look up something else. You can send me a direct email at culinarycellar@aol.com or debbievanni@aol.com

  12. dbrousseau December 10, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    I have this book (passed down from my grandmother). I absolutely love it. The best cooky of 1935 (chocolate chip) is one I make again and again. Thanks for posting.

  13. Robin Harris November 20, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Looking on to possibly buy this old time cookie book

    • Debbie November 20, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

      Robin, you can probably find the cookbook for sale on Amazon or ebay, or I have seen it at antique stores every now and then. Good luck!

  14. Robin Harris November 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Looking V for recipe for making fruit drop cookies from betty crocker 1963 cookie book

    • Debbie November 20, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

      Robin, I found your recipe for the fruit drops. Check your email!

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