RECIPE: Market Mystery Cookies

kathleencaNovember 5, 2008

I have had this recipe from The Oregonian newspaper over 12 years. The story behind it always tugged at my heartstrings, & the recipe itself is intriguing. I've never made the cookies, however - I just can't imagine scooping 1/4 teaspoonfulls for 200 cookies!

The Oregonian columnist wrote, "The originator of the recipe was an elderly woman who supported herself baking & selling these cookies at the Lancaster County Farmers Market in Wayne, PA. Tiny, less than bite-size, these cookies were sold by weight, not by the dozen. I've watched grown men & children of all ages eat Market Mystery Cookies so fast both hands blurred."


makes about 200 tiny cookies, a little more than a pound.

This recipe may be doubled, but no more.

1/2 c. butter (1 cube)

1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked.

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in top of double boiler over simmering water. Stir in sugar until lump-free & smooth.

Stir in oatmeal, then egg & cook dough, uncovered, for 1 hour over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally.

Remove top of double boiler from heat, add vanilla & stir. Let dough stand at room temperature 1 hour to firm. (Dough is quite runny when hot.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover several cookie sheets with foil. Drop dough by level 1/4 teaspoonfulls, 1/2-inch apart onto cookie sheets. Bake 7 minutes or until well-browned. Cool to lukewarm, when cookies will peel easily from foil. Finish cooling in single layer on baking sheet. Store in tightly covered container.

If too-cold cookies stick, return to the oven briefly to reheat to barely lukewarm.

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My mother baked like a demon at Christmas & never made cookies larger than bite-sized. I don't know how she did it with the amount she baked. I lose patience really quickly.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 4:27PM
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CA Kate

The whole process is new to me, I just may have to try them.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 6:43PM
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