The internet is a plentiful place to find new recipes these days, but next time, instead of reaching for your laptop, try perusing your own cookbook or recipe collection first. Recipes that your mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother used were tried and true then, and are just as wonderful today.

When I was little, I used to spend hours with this particular Cooky Book by Betty Crocker. As some girls dreamt of sugarplums in their heads, I was dreaming of snickerdoodles, cockle shells, pinwheels, and peanut butter fingers. I poured through pages that showcased vintage photos and charming sketches of the cookies, and could almost smell them baking with each page turn. My copy of this book (acquired from my mother’s cupboard when I moved out), is worn and loved, with batter-stained recipes, frayed edges, and pages coming unhinged from their spiral bindings.

Published in 1963, then released again in 2002, this book features the best of Betty Crocker cookie recipes that date as far back as 1880, as well as tips and a cookie primer for the novice baker, and intricately decorated holiday favorites to gift or devour.

So, in the spirit of the 365 Project and on the heels of Julie Powell’s homage to Julia Child, I was inclined to challenge myself to bake one cookie from this book, every day, throughout 2011. But alas, if I did, I’m afraid my husband and I would be eternally trapped in our house since we wouldn’t be able to get through the door! So instead, I give you this: for every major holiday in 2011, beginning with New Year’s Day, I will choose one recipe, bake it, photograph it, write about it, and share it.

And I encourage all of you home cooks out there to try the same. Dig out one of your mother’s or grandmother’s favorite cookbook and delve into nostalgia by trying out the old. Happy cooking!


1963 Edition: ASIN: B000YV2ZEE

2002 Edition: ISBN-10: 0764566377