A Rummaging Read: Anne of Ingleside

I give you fair warning: L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorite authors, which means that most of her books will make an appearance here sooner or later.

I begin with Anne of Ingleside, the charming account of the lives and times of the Blythe family, with special attention given to the Blythe children.  In Montgomery’s classic style, this book is full of witty character sketches and the winsome energy of youth.  The Blythe children are always running in and out of the kitchen for Susan’s homemade treats or frying up freshly caught fish down in Rainbow Valley, and Montgomery’s descriptions make you wish you could join them for a snack.

While I probably will have to revisit this book and include a recipe for the golden cake Rilla guiltily tosses into the water, I have settled on Susan Baker’s monkey face cookies.  These cookies appear in several of the books, and just enough description is given to make them sound like a whimsical treat.

Several years ago I tried to hunt down the recipe, but these were pre-internet days, and I had no success.  Then, one Christmas, I received the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book as a gift and was thrilled to find the following recipe for Monkey-Faced Cookies.  As the cookbook says: “You’ll be amused by the droll faces.  In an antique shop, pasted on the underside of a drawer in an old table, a radio friend of Fultonville, New York, discovered this recipe written in faded ink in old-fashioned script: ‘for Elsa’.”

Monkey-Faced Cookies

Mix together thoroughly: 1/2 cup soft shortening, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup molasses.

Stir in: 1/2 cup sour milk, 1 tsp. vinegar.

Sift together and stir in: 2 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1 tsp. soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ginger, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drop rounded teaspoonfuls 2 1/2″ apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Place 3 raisins on each for eyes and mouth.  Bake until set (about 10-12 minutes).  Remove from sheet in 1 minute.  Faces take on droll expressions in baking.  Makes about 4 dozen 2 1/2″ cookies.

Alternatively you could try this recipe offered by The Anne of Green Gables and L.M. Montgomery Lexicon, although I haven’t tested it myself.



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