9 May, 2018
1, 2, 3, 4 Cookies
Here’s yet another treasure from one of my old cookbooks. This one is brought to you by the 1913 publication, Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis’s Cook Book. 1, 2, 3, 4 cookies get their name from their ingredient list, which is based around 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour, and 4 eggs. Like most of the recipes in my old books, the baking temperature and time took a bit of guesswork, especially since these cookies are apparently not easy to find on the internet. I tried to see if there were other recipes to reference, at least for visuals, but the only two recipes I found were quite different from the recipe in my book. My book also said to use cream of tartar, but it didn’t say how much, so I took an educated guess and it turned out well.
Something unusual you might notice about these cookies is that they’re made with caraway seeds. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, think of rye bread. That signature taste that finds its way up to your nose and sits there as you chew? That’s from caraway seeds (predominantly anyway). I definitely thought it was odd when I saw the recipe called for them, but I decided to go with it instead of subbing in something sweeter, like anise. The end result was a very unique cookie — kind of savory because of the caraway seeds, but still sweet and tasty. The splitting and separate prepping of the eggs, as well as the cream of tartar, made these cookies soft and chewy. In the future, I might use the 1, 2, 3, 4 base to make snickerdoodles. It’s a really nice batter that I can imagine pairing with countless fruits, nuts, and other spices. For today, though, we have caraway seeds.
1 cup Salted butter, softened
2 cups Sugar
3 cups Flour
4 Eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Cream of tartar
2 tbsp Caraway seeds, gently crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets.
In a large bowl cream together the butter and half of the sugar. Beat the yolks and mix with the remaining half of the sugar before adding it to the creamed mixture. Beat the egg whites until lightly frothed and add them to the creamed mixture.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Add crushed caraway seeds to the dry mixture before gradually adding the dry mixture to the wet.
With floured hands, roll the dough one teaspoonful at a time into a ball before flattening into a cake and placing on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.