The Best Ever Cookies (Or, a Tasty Recipe Found in an Old Cookbook)

The Best Ever Cookies (Or, a Tasty Recipe Found in an Old Cookbook)

By R. Alan Clanton | Published December 16, 2013 |
Thursday Review editor

A few months ago I was searching my house for something lost, a small item, and just the sort of thing that people in middle age go in search of for no apparent reason, but just the sort of diversion that leads inevitably to the discovery (while opening boxes in closets with labels like "old stuff") of the unexpected. What I found, among other things, was an ancient cookbook from 1931, bought by a great-great aunt on a vacation to Washington, D.C., and given to another great-great aunt as a gift that year.

A day or two later I shared it with frequent Thursday Review writers Michael and Jeanne Sigler, and we had a blast reading recipes which seemed overly loaded with unfamiliar (and patently unhealthy) ingredients like lard, buttermilk, cream, ham fat back, and entire sticks of butter.

But there was this simple, sweet gem: The Best Ever Cookies.

Materials and ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sweet milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup seeded raisins
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flaked breakfast cereal, crushed or ground (any brand you prefer)


Mix ingredients in the same order as they are listed above until evenly mixed. Use one rounding teaspoon mixture for each cookie, and drop by the spoonful on a buttered baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake in moderate oven [which I have to assume means "medium" heat]. Watch closely as they burn easily.

Remove from pan while still warm. Makes up to 65 cookies.

I encourage Thursday Review readers to try it out, and write to us with the results (send a photo of the cookies fresh from the oven)

One of the most intriguing things about this recipe is the reference to breakfast cereal. How many dry breakfast cereals were available on the market in 1931? Corn Flakes immediately came to mind when I first read this recipe, and one can easily see how they would complement the other flavors in these cookies.

Write to us if you have a variation on these delicious--and sugar-high-inducing--treats. Send your recipe to

Related Thursday Review articles:

The Sweet News About Peaches; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; October 19, 2013