I'm the type of person that almost NEVER cooks something exactly as the directions say I should. I love altering recipes. Thus far, in 13 years of cooking and 11 1/2 years of marriage, I've only had one bad outcome. Just say, "garlic mashed potatoes" to my husband and you'll know. What's worse is that we'd only been married for a couple of months at that point. But I digress...(Our marriage is now going strong...despite that "hurdle". LOL)

About 2 years before I got married, my grandmother gave me her old 1950's Betty Crocker cookbook. I have used that cookbook many times. When we got married, I was also given a new (1997 edition) Betty Crocker Cookbook. Until yesterday, I had never compared the two. Sometimes I'd pull out the old book for a favorite recipe. Sometimes I'd open the new one for something that wasn't in the old book.

I always loved that the old book gave the most basic of instructions. For example, it tells you how to remove the feathers off your chicken before cooking it. For some reason, the newer book doesn't give those details. I can't imagine why? Don't most people have live chickens that they must be-head to eat living in their back yards?

So yesterday, I was looking for a good Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Knowing that I was using whole-wheat spelt flour instead of "regular" flour, I figured I'd check and see what the old book said as well. I was absolutely dumb-founded at what I discovered. Not only were the recipes different, they were VASTLY different. As in, you ended up with the same cookie (sort-of), but began in two very different manners.

The "old" cookbook called for:

  • 1/2 cup shortening (I used organic, unsalted butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used organic, alcohol-free vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used organic, raw sugar)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used organic)
  • 1 well-beaten egg (I used organic, cage-free)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used organic whole-grain spelt flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used sea salt, but will frequently just leave it out completely)
  • 1/2 tsp soda (I used organic, aluminum-free baking soda)
  • (1) 7-8 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used 3/4 of a 10oz bag of Enjoy Life chocolate chips which are Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Soy-Free)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut meats (I skipped this)
Yield: 5dozen (or 60) cookies

Surely, the new cookbook can't be that different, Amy. Really. You're probably just mis-reading something or not looking at the yield right. I mean, come on! They're chocolate-chip cookies! How different can two recipes be...especially from the same cookbook?

The new cookbook?...exact same cookie with the exact same yield:

  • 1/2 cup shortening (Again...I'd use butter here)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (Wait! Didn't I just use my shortening? Okay...)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (same)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (is this different from just "sugar"?)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (WHAT! The "old" recipe used 1/2 cup!...and now I'm packing it also.)
  • 2 eggs (Again...WHAT! The "old" recipe used ONE egg!)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (WHAT? Why are we using ONE full cup MORE flour?)
  • No salt is called for in this recipe. No complaints here.
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (I wonder who used "pop"...and that they thought they had to define this as "baking" soda?)
  • (1) 12oz pkg semisweet chocolate pieces (Again...WHAT! This is almost TWICE what the other recipe calls for. Yes. I know there's more flour...but still...WHY?)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (So if we're using nuts this time, we're using THREE times as much!!! The other recipe only called for 1/2 cup!)
Yield: 5 dozen (or 60) cookies (WHAT!!!!???? So I used twice or THREE times as much as the
original recipe on many of the ingredients and I don't get any more cookies? WHAT world
are these people living in?)

After seeing this, I will always go to the old cookbook first...because I don't need the food companies designing my recipes around how to best make them money.

Seriously. This recipe has twice as much fat and more than twice as much sugar. Umm. No. I'll stick to my "simple" recipe. Thanks.



$5 Dinner Mom said...

Thanks Amy for all the tips! I will look into Arrowhead, and contact them for coupons. I just got some coupons for contacting the rice milk company, and plan to write a post about it next week!
I look forward to exploring your site some more :)


Thoughts of THAT mom said...


I've been enjoying your site as well.

Just an FYI, you can often find the Rice Dream coupons on tearpads by the milk in some health food stores. Even if you don't intend on buying it there, you could take a coupon or 2 to use at another store.

I hope you're still able to get some from Arrowhead. In fact, now that we've moved, I think I'll make my calling rounds again to see if I can get more coupons.