Friday, September 6, 2013

Extra Fine Tarts, Cookies - Gramma's Webster's Recipe Book - Family Recipe Friday

I'm not sure what makes these tarts "extra fine" but maybe it's the coconut. Coconut is one of my least favorite baking ingredients but when this recipe was new, perhaps in the early 1900s, coconut may have been an uncommon, special, and expensive ingredient.

As for the cookies, they're made with molasses and baked in muffin tins or gem pans.  From what I can tell, gem pans were similar to muffin tins except generally made of cast iron and had rounded bottoms.  Some recipes called for heating the pans in the oven before filling and baking.  I think for this tart recipe the gem pans were not to be pre-heated.  Maybe these cookies are more like gingerbread or sweet bread than cookies.  Now that fall's here, I think I'll try them.  The challenge may be the less-than-exact measurement of "rounded tablespoons" of shortening.  Too much or too little shortening can ruin a recipe.

As with all of the previous recipes, no oven temperatures (other than "moderate") or baking times are given.

Extra fine Tarts
Line gem tins with
pie crust place in
them 1 tsp. jam or jelly
Mix 1 egg with 2/3 cup sugar
butter size of egg small
pkg. coconut   beat to-gether
and fill remaining part
of tart space

1/2 cup Molasses
1/2   "   B. Sugar
3 rounded tables-
poon Shorting [sic]
1/2 cup boiling water
1 egg        1 1/2 cup flour
1 teas. Soda
1   "   ginger
1/2 cup cinaimon [sic]
Pinch Salt.
Stir molasses,
Sugar, Shorting
into Boiling Water
Sift spices with
flour  also
Salt & Soda (over)
add first mixture
& Stir In last of
all the well
beaten eggs
Butter muffin
tins or gem pans
fill 3/4 full &
bake 20 min. in
moderate oven
The image of the pans, above, comes from Household Discoveries: an Encyclopaedia of Practical Recipes and Processes by Sidney Morse and Isabel Gordon Curtis, New York:  Success Company, 1909, p. 31.



  1. mmmm I think I'll try these! I like coconut. What a fun blog to find. I made an old recipe yesterday, my grandma's "chili sauce." It is like a country chutney. I ended up with 17 pints. For pete's sake. I could open a store. Next family reunion I'm all set, I'll take them to all of the relatives. Happy creating!

  2. I like coconut. But I'm always distressed to read inexact instructions like "hot oven" or "moderate temperature." My favorite cookbook is like that -- a collection of recipes of the cooks at my mother-in-law's church.


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