Friday, February 24, 2012

Poor Man’s Cookies

April 2011 057
I don’t know about you, but I always like to have a little something around the house to offer the unexpected guest or my weary husband at the end of a long day. Of course, this can get a little tricky during Lent when our family is fasting from a number of the things that, well, taste good. A plate of celery and carrot sticks may be nutritious and even hospitable, but it doesn’t exactly scream, “Welcome!”

At the very end of Lent last year, I stumbled across a Depression Era recipe for Poor Man’s Cookies, so-called because they are devoid of butter, milk, and eggs—all the things that our family abstains from during Lent. Well, I decided to give ‘em a whirl, and guess what? Not only are they Lent-friendly, they are positively delicious! The friend who I’d initially baked them for insisted on taking one for the road “because they are that good!” How’s that for a ringing endorsement? My husband actually asked that I make them even when it’s not Lent!

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Whether you’re fasting, you want to tighten up the budget, or you just want a truly tasty cookie, whip up a batch of Poor Man’s Cookies to enjoy and share!

Poor Man’s Cookies
adapted from Taste of Home
Yield 3 dozen cookies

1 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar, packed
½ c. sugar
¼ c. water
1 t. vanilla extract
1¼ c. flour
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
2 c. rolled oats

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Blend in water and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Gradually cream flour mixture into butter mixture. Fold in oats.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet 2 minutes, then remove to cooling rack and cool completely.


  1. Thanks for the recipe. I cook/bake without dairy and eggs all the time so I have a nice collection of recipes. However, this is a good one for passing on to family and friends that would be easy for them to make! Google a vegan peanut butter cookie for an easy pantry one as well. Outside of Lent you can do 1 cup peanut with 1 cup sugar and 1 egg. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 350 for 12-15 minutes. My kids love these (they can eat eggs but need to be gluten-free).


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