Baking

Lowney's Cook Book

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When you think of tempting chocolate treats, what comes to mind? Is it maybe… a brownie? The first known use of the word "brownie" for a dessert is in the 1896 edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer. But that recipe was for little molasses cakes, not chocolate. It wasn't until the 1906 version of Farmer's cook book that a chocolate brownie with a cake-like texture was featured. Chocolate brownies quickly gained in popularity across the United States.

And then came Lowney's Brownies.

Das Weisse Haus Kochbuch

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Translated into German from the original “White House cookbook” first published in 1887, this book served the rising and prospering German-speaking immigrant population of the period.  As the lengthy sub-title tells us, it’s more than just a cookbook –it is an encyclopaedic compendium of recipes for foods, salves and medicaments, lotions and personal products, cleaning and polishing compounds, etc.

Baker's Best Chocolate Recipes

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Baker's Chocolate in Dorcester, Massachusetts was in business more than 150 years before Baker's best chocolate recipes was published.  Baker's became a division of General Mills in 1927 and this booklet published in 1932, offers to its customers a history of the company, as well as, an armchair history of chocolate as the "food of the gods."  There are a slew of classic chocolate baked goods in here.  What baby boomer didn't have a grandmother that made fudge with nut meats?  Based on the condition of this cookbook, this may well be where your grandmother got the recipe.

Royal Baker and Pastry Cook

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The Royal baker and pastry cook: a manual of practical receipts for home baking and cooking by the Royal Baking Powder Company has become a royal mess.  Promotional cookbooks like this were never meant to survive; they were manufactured as ephemera to be distributed to customers on a local level to promote sales.  Their primary purpose was to advertise and promote their domestic usefulness.  (Helpful hint:  use baking powder to reduce the amount of eggs used in a recipe!)  This copy was provided to a Pennsylvania homemaker compliments of Hall Kaul & Hyde Co. of St.

Compliments of Standard Rice Company, Inc., Millers of Rice Since 1902

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This promotional recipe booklet is a striking adverstisment for White House Cereals.  Most likely published in the late 1930's, the front cover is fashioned as a 3-D commercial food carton while the back cover displays their full product line.  Bright yellow and die-cut, this booklet was intended as an eye-catching calling card.  Die-cutting dates back to the Victorian era when industrial machines could mass-produce and print the same attractive shapes over and over again, like the celebrated Victorian-era Valentines.

Five Thousand Receipts in All the Useful and Domestic Arts

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In an era before industrialization and mass-production, when every home has to make its own materials for daily life, this book of household recipes covers just about everything: as the lengthy title tells us, it ranges from the basics of cooking, preserving foods, and distilling, through practical matters such as medicines, tanning, horse-shoeing, and even metallurgy, to the finer arts of water-colors, oil painting, and enamelling.

What Shall I Cook Today?

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"Do tell me how you get your French fried potatoes so crisp and dry?"  Shortening was invented by Proctor and Gamble (yes, the soap makers) in 1910 as an alternative to tallow.  In the 1930s, Spry began an advertising campaign that would rival Crisco for decades.  This Spry cookbook published around 1936 by another soapmaker, the Lever Brothers, uses the then new and trendy comic book motif to cleverly advertise their product.

The Market Basket

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The Nickel Plate Road Railroad Industrial Development Department published The Market Basket in 1949 as a tribute to its late but forward-looking President, John W. Davin.  Davin the saw wisdom in bringing fresh foods quickly and efficiently from the farm to the table via railroad freight at a time when post-war America was booming (and in spite of working America's increased reliability and facination with prepared foods).  This cookbooklet features recipes from the wildly popular fine dining establishment, Gruber's Restaurant of Shaker Heights, Ohio.

The Wonder Book of Good Meals

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"The only bread baked at the Chicago World's Fair."  Wonder Bakery was the first major company to adapt commerical bread slicers.  Imagine the "wonder" that was inspired when they exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1934 just a few short years after the slicers were invented.  The exhibition baked, sliced, and packaged bread on the spot.  The Wonder book of good meals:  World's Fair Edition was given out as a keepsake/advertisement to fairgoers.  It includes recipes for every course, as well as defining "whitchery," the art of making sandwiches.

The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts and Household Hints

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The Godey’s Lady’s Book was a widely read journal that pioneered the field of women’s magazines. When first published in 1830, it included mainly images of the current fashions, but later it expanded to include fiction, essays, and recipes. In 1870, the magazine published its first cookbook, The Godey’s Lady’s Book Receipts and Household Hints. The book is a compilation of featured recipes along with a chapter of household and cooking advice. The chapter ends on a playful note with a poem —each couplet is a cooking tip or proverb.

The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book

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Fannie Farmer, who was born in 1857, suffered a paralytic stroke in her teenage years that forced her to give up her formal education at the time.  She eventually found an interest in nutrition and cooking.  She enrolled at the Boston Cooking School and did so well that she joined the staff, eventually becoming head of the school. She is still an important and recognized figure in the study of American cookery.

Cooking With Stamps

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This pocket-sized booklet is part of a series of over 100 handbooks published by the American Topical Association, a philatelic society devoted to topical stamp collecting. Topical stamp collecting involves collecting stamps based on a specific subject or concept; examples are birds on stamps, trains on stamps, and people on stamps. There is even a club for people who like stamps on stamps. This book is about food on stamps.

Torten-Verzierungen : 78 Moderne Vorlagen

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(Cake ornamentation :78 modern originals) [Windsheim?] : Selbstverlag des Verfassers (Gesamtherstellung von E. Nister, Nürnberg), [1910]
Pattern book of designs for cake decorations. Designs for holiday, special occasion and seasonal cake decorations. with some Art Nouveau motifs. The final, unnumbered plate is an illustration of different fonts for alphabets and numbers used in cake decorating.