No, I haven’t gotten around to re-mastering the tapioca recipe yet — I will soon, though, I promise!
This week (in celebration of both Pork Month and Cookie Month) we’ll be exploring the lard-tastic cookbook Queens of Cuisine with Swift’ning, “written by” Martha Logan. Why is “written by” in quotes? Because Martha Logan, despite being the renowned home economist who invented recipes and was regularly featured in advertisements for Swift & Company, was a completely fictional woman.
One of Swift’s products was Swift’ning. Technically, it wasn’t lard, but rather shortening, since it incorporated both animal and vegetable fats. (Swift did sell pure leaf lard for a while, but this wasn’t it.) Instead of Swift’ning, we’re going to be trying out our own homemade pastured-pork lard.
One whole cup of it.
ROLLED OAT GOODIES
Yield: 10 dozen
1 cup Swift’ning
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup ground raisins
2-1/4 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped nut meats
Cream Swift’ning and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and raisins. Sift flour, soda, and salt together. Add dry ingredients, rolled oats, and nut meats, blending well. Drop by teaspoonfuls (size of walnut) onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake. Store in loosely covered box to retain crispness of cookies. These cookies do not spread much in baking.
Baking Temperature: 375° F
Baking Time: 10 minutes.
This is sort of a test of whether I actually can cook with lard. You know how there are some foods that you just won’t consider eating? I’m not honestly sure if lard is like that for me, or if maybe I just need to get to know it better.
OK, so this looks like a fairly standard arrangement of cookie ingredients, right? Except… that’s not butter. That’s pale greasy stuff in a measuring cup. That’s lard.
Lard apparently creams more or less like butter. Except it’s lard. (Yeah, this is going REALLY WELL.)
This is also the point where I notice a distinct smell of lard in the air. Uh-oh. Nobody wants to eat a cookie that smells like an old pork chop…
Once the sugar is added, it needs to mix “until fluffy.” This is one of those stages of baking that I never entirely understood, because butter and sugar never looks “fluffy” to me even when thoroughly mixed. I generally just go by color, and wait until the yellow gets a little more pale. That strategy isn’t going to work with lard and brown sugar, so it’s time to just guess and hope.
The eggs, vanilla, and raisins went in.
With flour, nuts, and oats, the batter got real thick, real fast. The mixer started groaning and whining a little bit.
And it still smells a bit like lard.
Scooped out and ready for the oven. On the plus side, this is probably the least interested in eating (instead of baking) the cookie dough that I have ever been.
And after ten minutes, rolled oat goodies were piled on cooling racks!
These were a big hit — even with me, and I don’t typically like “crisp” cookies. The lard-y smell was gone after they baked, and they were a tasty oatmeal raisin cookie. Maybe Martha Logan knew what she was talking about…
Queens of Cuisine has been preserved for public viewing on The Internet Archive, apparently scanned from a copy that had been discarded in a dumpster.