This 150-Year-Old Cookie Recipe Is a Family Heirloom (2024)

I am culinary-trained, but baking has always been a passion of mine. I come from a long-line of top-notch bakers, so I always say that it’s in my genes. That also means I have some pretty good cookie recipes in my arsenal.

None of them have a date attached to them, but maybe that’s part of the allure of the 150-Year Old Cookie recipe posted on Reddit awhile back. The skeptic in me had a hard time believing that a cookie with only three ingredients was worth eating. I put on my apron to see what all the fuss was about and here’s what I learned.

How Do You Make 150-Year-Old Cookies?

The creator responsible for sharing the recipe on Reddit, Nolyn’s Kitchen, claimed that the cookie was an old family favorite. I can see why. The ingredients are few and the method is simple. Combine softened butter with brown sugar and self-rising flour. Mix everything with your hands, then cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 25 equal-sized balls and bake until golden.

How It Went When I Made Them

After a quick review of the recipe, I gathered my ingredients (all of which I conveniently had in my fridge and pantry) and got to work. Once my butter was softened, I added it to a bowl along with brown sugar and self-rising flour.

I used my hands, as instructed, to mix everything together which was fun and satisfying. If you have kids, let them do this part (but make sure they wash their hands first—you should too), they’ll love squishing everything and watching the dough ball come together.

After a quick trip in the fridge to firm up a bit, I divided the dough into 25 equal-sized pieces, which came out to be about 15 grams each. That’s a pretty small cookie, but maybe that’s just by American standards.

Since there was no instruction regarding spacing on the baking sheet, I assumed more on a pan was better than fewer (this was not a good judgment call). I baked them at 310 F for about 18 minutes and when I went to retrieve my cookies, they had become a cohesive cookie sheet. They smelled great, but were flat as a pancake and stuck together and required a bit of bending and breaking in order to separate.

Make Your Own Self-Rising Flour With One Easy Trick

How Did They Taste?

Even though they looked awful, they tasted great. I’m a sucker for butter and these deliver big butter flavor! I enjoyed the crispy edges that reminded me of butterscotch and the chewy inside which complimented that crunch. The cookies felt surprisingly light and airy, but somehow satisfying. One of those small cookies was delicious and also plenty.

The Secret To Success

Simplicity is always a winner, especially when it comes to cooking and baking. The use of only three ingredients makes preparing these cookies approachable—a kind of “every day” cookie. It’s also the combination of those ingredients that make these cookies impressive. The butter, brown sugar and self-rising flour all work together to provide the flavor, texture, and structure these cookies need. Let’s not forget the ease of making them either! All you need is a bowl, your hands, a baking sheet, and an oven and you’re good to go!

Other Cookies We Love

Butterscotch Cookies
Peppermint Swirl Brownies
Orange Cookies With Glaze Recipe

Tips for Making 150 Year Old Cookies

Use unsalted butter—Self-rising flour is made with all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. You can expect between 300 to 350 grams of sodium per quarter cup of self-rising flour. That’s more than enough to flavor these cookies. Because of that, I recommend using unsalted butter for best results.

Sift your flour—Self-rising flour has a tendency to clump. To ensure your ingredients are evenly dispersed, consider sifting your flour before adding it to your dough. A simple fine-mesh strainer will help you get the job done.

Provide ample space for baking—Don’t make my mistake: give your cookies plenty of room on that cookie sheet for baking. At least 2 inches between them should allow enough space for spreading!

Decorate after baking—The recipe says to press the cookies with the back of a fork to make a simple decoration before baking. I found that to be quite frustrating since the cookies were so small and the dough was sticky which led to my fork getting stuck. A better method, I found, was to press the cookies after baking, right after removing them from the oven. I followed that with a little dusting of sparkling sugar, just for fun.

25 Days of Christmas Cookies

This 150-Year-Old Cookie Recipe Is a Family Heirloom (2024)


What is the oldest cookie ever made? ›

Pizzelles are the oldest known cookie and originated in the mid-section of Italy. They were made many years ago for the “Festival of the Snakes” also known as the “Feast Day of San Domenico”.

How long does it take for cookie dough to age? ›

How Long Should I Chill Cookie Dough? Anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. The longer you chill the dough, the more flavor will develop. The flour will also absorb more of the moisture so the thicker and chewier the final texture will be.

Who made the first cookie? ›

Cookies appear to have their origins in 7th century AD Persia, shortly after the use of sugar became relatively common in the region. They spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain. By the 14th century, they were common in all levels of society throughout Europe, from royal cuisine to street vendors.

Why do you have to refrigerate cookie dough overnight? ›

1) Chilling cookie dough controls spread.

And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread. In addition, the sugar in the dough gradually absorbs liquid. If you bake the dough immediately, before sugar has a chance to absorb much liquid, that liquid remains "free" in the dough, and promotes spread.

What is the oldest American cookie? ›

What is the oldest cookie in America? The earliest reference to cookies in America is in 1703, when "The Dutch in New York provided 'in 1703 at a funeral 800 cookies" The most common modern cookie, given its style by the creaming of butter and sugar, was not common until the 18th century.

What cookie was invented in 1912? ›

On this day in 1912, Oreo cookies were first developed and produced by Nabisco in New York City. It's time to celebrate the iconic crunchy chocolate sandwich cookie with the sweet vanilla cream filling that Americans have enjoyed for over one hundred years. March 6th is National Oreo Cookie Day!

Is browned butter better in cookies? ›

In his recipe, he made the ingenious discovery that browning the butter before adding it to the mixture would give the cookies a much more pronounced nuttiness.

Can I freeze cookie dough instead of refrigerating it? ›

Here's what our Test Kitchen recommends when quickly chilling cookie dough in the freezer: Place the cookie dough in the freezer for one-quarter of the recommended refrigerator time. The dough can be wrapped in plastic, scooped into balls for baking on a cookie sheet, or left in the mixing bowl, covered.

What is cookie slang for? ›

Informal. dear; sweetheart (a term of address, usually connoting affection).

What cookie was not invented until 1938? ›

It wasn't until very recently, around 1938, that chocolate chip cookies were first invented. Unlike a lot of other things, the chocolate chip cookie was not invented by accident. During the 1930s, a chef named Ruth Graves Wakefield decided to give something different to her customers.

What is cookie a nickname for? ›

In slang, "cookie" is often used as a term of endearment or affectionate nickname for someone, especially a woman. It is similar to terms like "sweetie" or "honey" and is used to express fondness or admiration for someone [1].

What happens if you don't let cookie dough rest? ›

As she says, not chilling the cookie and baking at 350 degrees can result in a more crackly cookie, since the dough hasn't had enough time to absorb the flour. Chilling it for half an hour, however, gives you thicker, chewier dough.

How long should cookie dough rest before baking? ›

Generally speaking, you should chill your cookie dough before baking it. But for how long? You want to give it at least 2 hours to chill through.

Does freezing cookie dough make it better? ›

Putting cookie dough into the freezer before baking can help solidify the fat from the butter in your cookies, which in turn keeps them from spreading too much in the oven. Colder dough will not expand as much as warm dough does. This will produce a higher, thicker cookie.

When was the first cookie invented? ›

The first cookies are thought to date back as early as the 7th Century A.D. in present-day Iran. That's around the time that sugar became a common baking ingredient in the region. So how was the cookie invented? Well, as every good baker knows, you have to make sure your oven is at the right temperature.

How old can a cookie be? ›

Bakery or homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature two to three weeks or two months in the refrigerator. Cookies retain their quality when stored in the freezer for eight to 12 months.

What is the rarest ancient cookie? ›

Pure Vanilla Cookie, an Ancient Cookie of Healing class, is one of the hardest to find cookies in the game. His position is prioritized to the Rear by default. His in-game description reads as: "There are not many Cookies on Earthbread who could inspire hope as Pure Vanilla Cookie did.

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