My Pioneer Cookbook Adventure: 1903 Good Housekeeping ~ Snowballs (… and a failure)

I’ve had my first failure in my pioneer cookbook adventure. (Formerly, Throwback Thursday) I attempted two more recipes this week. One was an utter failure and one mostly worked. (Tasted wonderful, but, didn’t look quite right!) Well, when you’re dealing with old terms and skimpy recipes with very little instructions, it’s bound to happen.

So, here’s the latest episode in my adventure cooking with the…



Oven temperatures:

When dealing with these old cookbooks, there aren’t any oven temps, as there are in modern cookbooks. (Remember: they had wood burning ovens back then). So, I did a bit of research and found the following chart, which has been a great guide so far. I’ll put it on my side panel, in case anyone should need it.

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 1.41.53 PM

My Flannel Cake Failure:

Ok, I must have read this recipe a dozen times. And, every time I asked the same thing. WHERE’S THE FLOUR?  I couldn’t fathom how it would work without flour. Nope, not an ounce of flour. I mean there’s 3 cups of milk and 2 eggs! That’s A LOT of liquid, without flour! How is that supposed to work? It’s a typo, I think.  I did research on flannel cakes, and every recipe had at least 2 cups of flour. So, basically, flannel cakes are just like pancakes.


But, just for kicks, I mixed up the batter, EXACTLY AS PRINTED. The only difference was I didn’t have cream of tartar. After doing research, I found out I could use vinegar as a substitute. Here’s what I used:


I decided to try and “cook” them. Well, as you’d expect, it turned out…well…quite poorly. You can see the result below, kind of like sweet, white scrambled eggs. I ended up dumping out the batter, but, next time, I’ll try it with flour, and make them properly.




Ok, yes I know these look great in the pan, but, they were next to impossible to get out of the pan. By the time I got the first batch out of the pan, they were quite deflated and looked like this:


These little gems are so difficult to remove from the pan, because they are so light and delicate, which is what makes them SOOO good. But, I decided to bake them on a pan, with the second batch.

So, there are two options with these: do it the modern way and use cupcake liners or make them like pancakes, on a griddle. Let me tell you, I think I prefer the pancake like option. Making them on a griddle for breakfast, in place of your regular pancake recipe would be amazing with some fresh fruit and a little honey or maple syrup. They’re already sweet, so you don’t need much.

Here’s the recipe:


The ingredients:


  • 4 pasture-raised eggs (whites only)
  • 1 cup organic, grass-fed heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup organic einkorn all purpose flour (approximately)

The steps:

  1. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and set aside. eggwhites
  2. Mix heavy cream, sugar and baking powder in a bowl.


  3. Add flour till you get a pancake like batter, about 1/2 cup.
  4.  Fold in beaten egg whites.
  5. Add to a buttered pan.
  6.  Bake in a hot oven, until raised and golden brown. I baked mine at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.  ovenfresh


Closing thoughts:

Well there you have it. A slightly bumpy part of my adventure in old fashioned cooking. I’m sure the flannel cakes will be fine, when I make t hem properly. I’m going to try the snowballs on the griddle AND in cupcake liners, and see which turns out best. I’ve decided to skip over several recipes in this baking powder bread section. I’m skipping the waffles, all the biscuits and all the corn bread/cakes.

So, stay tuned to the next edition of


when I make…




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