My next-door neighbour, “Grammie H.,” puts a dollop of chocolate frosting on these rich dark chocolate cookies, but they don’t really need the extra sweetness added to their own chewy chocolaty goodness!

Now, this recipe comes from Grammie’s handwritten recipe book, which she started back in the 1940s, when she was just starting to think about getting married.

There were no instructions or baking temperature given — in fact, this recipe came to me as it came to her, as just a list of ingredients — so I’ve filled in the rest by “trial and error” over the last few months. That meant test-eating a lot of cookies, but I didn’t get any complaints…

Chocolate Drop Cookies

½ cup shortening
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
¾ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2¾ – 3 cups flour
6 Tbsp cocoa (or more — I used rounded tablespoonfuls)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ salt
nuts (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Cream the shortening and brown sugar, and add the egg, milk, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients gradually to the wet mixture, blending well.
Stir in nuts, if you want to use them.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes.

(The exact time for baking will depend on the size of your cookies, and how chewy you’d like them to be in the middle.)

Old-Recipe Tip:

If you ever come across an old cookie recipe that has some important information missing, it helps to keep in mind that you can’t go wrong with following the general process that I use here (cream sugar and fat, add other wet ingredients; combine dry ingredients in a second bowl, and add dry to wet). And you won’t go wrong with baking a pan of drop cookies at about 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes, as a general rule.

Find more of my favourite recipes here!

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