Lumberjack Cookies, c. 1917
Cookies became a part of the lumberjack’s diet around 1910, according to historian Robert Pike. Before then, lumberjacks’ diets consisted of pork and beans, molasses, gingerbread and black tea, with the occasional meat and potato. After that, the lumber camp table included condensed milk, sugar, meat, vegetables and baked goods. Pike attributes the development to changes in state laws. Whatever the reason, lumberjacks enjoyed cookies from the following recipe that dates to World War I. It makes about 100 cookies, enough for – well, a lumber camp.
I have halved the recipe. If you actually want to feed a lumber camp, then go ahead and double it.
Step 1: Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups raisins
3 cups flour(I used stone ground whole wheat, seemed more... manly)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp soda
1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs(not 4 as in photo)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 Tbs vanilla
Step 2: Sift Dry Ingredients Together
1. Using colander or sifter place in 3 cups of flour
2. Add the following to the flour:
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp c.o.t.
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp b.s.
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp b.p.
- 1/4 tsp cloves
3. Combine thoroughly
Step 3: Combine Liquids
Mix liquids in another bowl.
1. Add together:
- 2 eggs
- both butters
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 cup of soaked oatmeal(I only had steel cut, so soaked it for 1 hour in hot H2O, then drained and added)
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 Tbs of vanilla extract
Step 4: Combine Wet and Dry, Form Dough
1. Mix liquid in to bowl of dry ingredients.
2. Combine, scraping sides, combining...
3. ...until dough ball is formed
4. Incorporate raisins into dough.
4. Wrap with saran, label, and place into fridge.
Step 5: Time to Bake Some Lumberjack Cookies!
1. Gather everything you need:
- Chilled dough, removed 15-30 minutes prior to use
- cutting surface
- big, sturdy kitchen knife... or a hatchet!
- lined cookie trays
- wire rack for cooling
Preheat oven to 365 degrees F.
2. Cut off sections of dough and place on scale to a weight of 1 oz.
3. Roughly form into ball and place on cookie tray.
4. They won't spread much, so you can fill at least a dozen on a small tray.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on cookie tray, then transfer to wire rack to cool for another 15 minutes. Store in lined cookie tin.
Step 6: Package It Up!
The Lumberjack cookies were the 4th installment into my Yankee Holiday Cheer Package.
I couldn't resist the idea of wrapping them with Lumberjack fabric, so I bought 2 extra large red/black flannel shirts, washed and dried them, and cut them into squares with pinking shears.
I wrapped a few Lumberjack cookies with waxed paper, then folded the flannel around that.
I attached the Lumberjack Cookie Story with some rugged twine tied with a slip knot rather than a bow, because you know... manly.
Or, you could skip the whole packaging thing and just visit your local Forest where there is some tree-felling goin' on, and drop off a bucket of them!