Sugar was first rationed in 1942. It was the first consumer commodity rationed but was soon to be followed by items like meat, coffee, and processed foods. Beginning on May 5, 1942, each person could receive a half pound of sugar a week. A pound of granulated sugar contains roughly 2 cups. In 1942, this was cutting the average family’s sugar consumption in half.
Home front housewives struggled to adapt to cooking with new restrictions, and magazines and cookbooks provided recipes to help them find appealing dishes for their family meals and desserts. This series of recipes is from the January 1945 issue of Woman’s Day. For recipes that don’t use eggs, check out that series beginning with Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze
This recipe is the first of three that don’t require sugar. Unfortunately, this recipe didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. These little cookies still tasted terrific, they just weren’t anything like the recipe suggests they should be! More on that in a minute.
Rolled Maple Lace Wafers.
1/2 c. maple-flavored pancake syrup
1/4 c. margarine
1/2 c. sifted flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
A few grains of salt
Combine the syrup and margarine in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. When it is at a hard boil, keep it there for 30 seconds. Sift the remaining ingredients together and add them all at once to the syrup and margarine mixture. Stir briskly. This dough will be lumpy. Drop half teaspoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet about 5 inches apart. Bake at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute. Remove each wafer from the cookie sheet and roll it around a round handled spoon, then place it on a rack to cool. Don’t bake more than 8 cookies at once because they will harden too fast to roll on the spoon. If they do harden too much, you can return them to the oven for a few seconds.
The cookies should be little rolled wafers. We tried over and over to get this recipe to work, but we finally gave up and just baked them as cookies. Our cookies were too cakey inside to allow them to roll without breaking. The recipe says it makes about 2 1/2 dozen wafers, but if you make cookies the size of the ones you see here, it only makes about a dozen.
The cookies were tasty. They were soft and tasted like maple syrup on a pancake. They did taste better fresh out of the oven, so warming them when cold would probably be best. We ate them with tea and milk.
The cookies are displayed on an Anchor Hocking Vintage pattern snack set from the 1950s-1960s. These snack sets are handy for serving everything from sandwiches to cookies. We’ve used them for brunches, luncheons, afternoon teas, parties, and bedtime snacks. I’m not sure why these don’t seem to be made anymore. They are amazingly versatile.
The problem was probably with the pancake syrup. The product that they where using then is not the same product that is being made today. There are thickeners in the pancake syrups now. You might want to try making them with dark corn syrup and add a little maple extract to them when you add the dry ingredients . Lace cookies are hard to make anyways. Pasty Chefs like to show off their skills making lace cookies. Your grape snack set is pretty. I gave my milk glass set to my oldest grand daughter so she could enjoy it.
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Thank you for the tip on the pancake syrup. I’ll try your suggestion. These were pretty tasty, but I could not get them to turn out like I wanted them to. I’ve never tried lace cookies before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m sure your granddaughter loves her milk glass. I have some and think it’s wonderful. I’m hoping to use more of my collection in the near future.
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