Day 16: Autumn Leaf Wafers

photo by me!
One of my favorite resources for studying ration recipes has been the wartime editions of menu cook books. They have a menu for every day of the year, broken up by weeks, and they even give you shopping lists, sometimes special holiday menus, like the Hallowe'en menu from Day 1 of this series. The menus are very detailed, and you don't have to do much thinking on your own about what to make! Very convenient!

I have two of these menu cook books - The Modern Family Cook Book by Meta Given and The Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book edited by Alice Bradley.

Today's series'  post is for some delightful-sounding cookies called Autumn Leaf Wafers. They come from the Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book published in 1944. This edition is interesting as they've updated an earlier version for wartime and include a warning in the section entitled "Wartime Cookery." They warn the homemaker that because of rationing, not all of the menu recipes will feasible and that substitutions will have to be made:

I find this fascinating - that though rationing was in full swing, they didn't really modify any of the menus or recipes and charged the homemaker with making the necessary changes. This is an opposite tack that most commercial rationing books/booklets took whose main aim was to make things easier on the housewife. Still, the fact that all the menus for the entire year were planned, taking seasonal availability into consideration, does make this cookbook a valuable kitchen resource.

Here's the recipe for the Autumn Leaf Wafers. I love that they have you use actual leaves as the templates for the cookies and even draw the veins in. So much fun! I wonder how they taste...

Autumn Leaf Wafers with Orange Confectioners Frosting
The Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book, ca. 1944 


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