Jean Jones’ Cookies

Jean Taylor moved to Bury’s Green as a young adult to teach at Lamb’s School, in the fourth concession of Verulam Township (now Martin’s Road). While boarding with Tom and Ruth Moffat (later Moffatt), she got to know Doug Jones, who would drive his younger siblings Max and Ted to school. Being one of the few young ladies in the neighbourhood who was not related to the old families, many of whom had been there for multiple generations, it was noticed by the community when Doug was dating the resident teacher. In keeping with the social expectations of the day, Jean retired from teaching when she was married, allowing her the time to raise her family.

Doug and Jean often attended the neighbourhood social gatherings, as together they operated their farm for decades. Jean liked to share these cookies with her friends, who enjoyed the treat. The recipe uses corn syrup and shortening, which at that time were becoming common commercial products. Locally Beehive was a popular corn syrup, billed as “a great source of energy food for active people of all ages!” that gave away hockey cards as a promotion. In contrast, older residents would have grown up baking with sugar and their own butter. In the mid twentieth century, homemade sandwich cookies were a popular treat. At the time, local residents baked with a cook stove, and it could be assumed that everyone knew the delicate art of carefully managing the fire to achieve the correct temperature, and how to judge when the cookies were done. Hence, no baking time or temperature is specified.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • About 3 cups of flour

Directions

  • Roll into flour, about three cups
  • Cut with a small cutter and bake.
  • Put jam or dates between.

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