Sunday, February 8, 2015

Little House Inspired Brown Sugar Cookies

This year, due to issues at our local brick and mortar school, we decided to homeschool. We thought it would be the best option for our 8 year old son who has Asperger's. And do you know what? He is thriving!!!

Recently we decided to tackle Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie as part of our literature curriculum and he loved the book. Okay, who doesn't love her books!

He was fascinated by all the homesteading skills Pa preformed in the book, like building a cabin, digging a well, and protecting the home from the prairie fire. But one of the things that really stuck out to him was the fact the white sugar was for company.

In our modern day and age, white sugar is such a common item in most kitchens, but back in Laura's time, refined sugar was a very special pantry item. This got us thinking about what ingredients Ma would have used in order to make something special for Laura and Mary, like cookies. What resulted was a Little House inspired recipe. I say inspired because, well, you will see.....

Ingredients
1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 

Of course Ma would most likely NOT have had white flour, again, this would have been a very special item, but for our purposes, we used what we had. In the book, the Ingalls did not have chickens, so the likelihood of eggs being available were slim to none. And would Ma have had vanilla extract?!?! These were all questions we pondered as we whipped up our cookies. What makes them Little House inspired is the use of brown sugar. Of course Ma would not have used this much white sugar in any recipe. Heck, I doubt she would have used this much brown sugar in any recipe! But, what resulted in our kitchen was a Brown Sugar Cookie.

We started by combining all our dry ingredients (because we are commando/gorilla bakers) and then we tossed in all the wet ingredients. Of course we had to mix it by hand because Ma would NOT have had a hand mixer. We then chilled our dough..... Again, Ma would not have done this, nor would she have had plastic wrap. While we did things Ma wouldn't have, it did give us an opportunity to discuss and examine how life has changed since Laura's childhood,


After our dough chilled for about an hour, we decided to get busy baking up our cookies. We made balls out of the dough and used the bottom of a flat glass to press the balls flat. Ma could have used the palm of her hand. We placed our cookies on a lightly greased pan and baked them at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Ma would have used lard to grease her pans but alas, she was not so lucky as to have an oven that held a steady temp.

What resulted from our little kitchen experiment was a lovely brown sugar cookie AND a better understanding of how our lives and Laura's compared. It provided a wonderful hands on experience for our homeschooling AND a lovely treat for the country kids. Okay, I will admit to downing more than my fair share of these too!

27 comments:

  1. So love Laura! The cookies look delicious. And so happy that your homeschool journey is going well.

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    1. Awww thanks. We really are getting into the whole homeschooling things. It was hard at first, but we are getting a rhythm to our days.

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  2. I love that you are not only teaching your son the history of those times, but bringing the history to life so he can experience it for himself. Lovely read!

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    1. It's fun not to just talk about or watch history, but to get in there and taste it! LOL

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  3. So glad to here things are going better with homeschool! Lessons like this are part of the fun of homeschooling! The other thing is not having to make them sit in a chair half the day! That is what makes my grandson hate school! I remember putting dirt and clumps of grass into the bathtub, and used the shower to illustrate the value of vegetation in controlling erosion. (Yes, I WAS that crazy; - and hey, since we actually live in the country, and I had 4 kids, we probably actually ran that much dirt through the tub in a month anyway! LOL! Great fun!

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    1. I love your dirt/grass idea! I might just have to do this (if the ground ever thaws LOL)

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  4. Love this, what a great idea, thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Might give this a go with the youngsters. Blessings

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    1. Well if my kids are any indication.... the cookies rock because they are gone! LOL

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  5. If you ever have a chance to go visit the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, SD I highly recommend it. It was the best part of our vacation last year!

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  6. I have the Little House Cookbook and use recipes adapted to our current life today. One of the kids favorites at this time of year is the Molasses on Snow Candy. You can see it on my blog here: https://chasenchanceranch.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/molasses-on-snow-candy/

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  7. These sound really good! We love those books too. There is a Little House Cook Book that's a lot of fun to read too.

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    1. People have mentioned it. I am going to have to look into getting us a copy!

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  8. Found this on the Happiness is Homemade link party. I haven't read any of the Little House books, but I loved watching the TV series. These cookies look delicious and I'm sure the Ingalls' would have enjoyed them (even though they didn't have some of the ingredients). Pinning, Diane @ Mrs U Makes.

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    1. Oh you have to get the books!!! You will love them!!

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  9. Awesome recipes! Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday!

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  10. Delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  11. This is fun! We just got done reading Little House on the Prairie and will be visiting some of Laura's home sites this Summer :)

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  12. What a great way to compare life now and life back then! Plus, you get a yummy treat at the end. :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I'm looking forward to what you share this week. :)

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  13. These look lovely. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

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  14. Hello,
    Just wanted to let you know we have a brand NEW spin-off of the ‪#‎PureBlogLove‬ link party. I would love for you to drop by and see all the new changes we have made for better interaction with the bloggers.
    We run every Thursday @ 8 pm est on www.homemadefoojunkie.com through the weekend. Come celebrate with us on the NEW Pinterest Party where bloggers pin their established Pinterest pins to our link party.

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