World War II Cookies – Peanut Rocks

As I get ready for my talk in two weeks, I’ve been experimenting with different recipes. I’ve promised everyone that samples will be provided! My first attempt at molasses cookies was awful (though Dan liked them). But I have to remember these recipes may not turn out as good as I’d like. Sugar substitutes and or small amounts of sugar may not taste so great.

Yesterday’s experiment was a cookie called Peanut Rocks. The recipe is found in my cook book called Country Gentleman: Wartime Recipe and Canning Guide. The cook book is not dated, but obviously is from the War years. I love the cover! A happy housewife with the fruits of her Victory Garden spread out before her as she prepares a hearty soup for her family.

Peanut Rocks are a good choice for me to serve at the talk. First of all, they use an alternative sweetener to sugar. They use honey. The other interesting thing about this recipe is that it calls for 1 cup butter.

From what I’ve read, butter was very hard to come by and required lots of ration points. Butter was needed to make cheese which was sent overseas. When you did have it, you used it sparingly. There were many tips for women to “extend” their butter. For instance it was suggested you blend your butter with margarine to make the butter go further. Or even more strangely, you could whip your butter with evaporated milk and plain powdered gelatin. It was suggested that you not cook with this concoction! Just use it to butter your bread.

So with this recipe calling for 1 cup of butter, I imagine the resourceful housewife either using the butter/margarine mix, just margarine, or possibly Crisco or some other vegetable shortening.

The other fun part of this recipe was that I got to cream the butter and sweetener using my “new to me” vintage stand mixer. It’s not quite from the 1940s – actually its from the 1970s. But it’s my first stand mixer and I was thrilled with it.


Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 c. sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. butter
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • 1 c. honey (the only sweetener)
  • 2 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. ground raisins (I put them in whole)
  • 1 c. chopped peanuts (I also put these in whole)

Sift dry ingredients together

Cream butter and honey until light and fluffy

Stir in oatmeal, raisins and peanuts

Add dry ingredients and milk and mix well

Drop on well-greased cookie sheet

Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes (original recipe said “about 20 minutes”, but I found that to be too long)

The result? Well, the taste is different. I sort of like them and sort of don’t. You do taste the honey. I imagine if I was living during the War and it was “eat this cookie or not have any other cookies to snack on”, I’d be gobbling them down.

Tonight  I’m really going out on a limb making War-Time Cake, which is eggless, milkless and butterless. I’ll let you know what happens!

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  1. [...] what I served: Peanut Rock Cookies, Applesauce Muffins, Sugar Saving Brownies and Chocolate Crunch Candy. Just for the heck of it, Dan [...]

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