Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Three from the Baker’s Dozen

Jerry Stratton, August 31, 2022

I recently found a General Foods pamphlet in another cookbook that I bought. The pamphlet is a 1976 Baker’s Coconut promotion called “The Baker’s Dozen”. My copy originally appeared in McCall’s, but I suspect it was an advertising pullout that appeared in multiple magazines. The few recipes I’ve tried have been very good—and very rich. There are only twelve recipes—it’s not a true baker’s dozen—but the three I’ve tried so far are some good ones.

The pamphlet advertises “exciting recipe book offers”, one of which is the Baker’s Chocolate and Coconut Favorites. Judging from the 1977 (sixth) edition of Baker’s Chocolate and Coconut Favorites on Michigan State University’s Little Cookbooks Collection, none of these recipes are in it. In fact, the 1977 edition of Favorites looks like a barely-updated version of the 1962 edition.

This is, as far as I can tell, an advertisement, not a book. It was bound into the magazine for easy removal and you were even expected to remove the coupon from the final page of the pamphlet. I’ve occasionally wondered about the recipes in the ads companies like Baker’s run. Do they pull them from their larger cookbooks, or make them up especially for the ad? In this case, it appears that they made them up just for the ad. Seems like a waste of great recipes, though it does make for interesting culinary archaeological expeditions.

Baker’s Dozen Magic Coconut Bars

Sweet, chewy coconut bars drizzled in chocolate. Magic!

Broil-on Coconut Topping Full

I could eat this for breakfast. It was so good I was spooning it out of the bowl.

Chocolate Cheese Pie

A nice slice of creamy Chocolate Cheese Pie, with Broil-On Coconut Topping.

Magic Coconut Squares

The first recipe I tried were their Magic Coconut Squares. The recipe is very similar to the Magic Cookie Bars in the various Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk cookbooks. I love that recipe, and I think I love this one even more. It uses more coconut than the Eagle brand cookbooks do for their Magic Bars—not surprising since this is a coconut promotion rather than a sweetened condensed milk promotion. The extra coconut makes the Baker’s version taste a lot like a Mounds bar or Almond Joy bar. It also uses slightly more butter. It adds marshmallows to the mix, which probably helps contribute to the Mounds bar texture by adding gooeyness. And it drizzles the chocolate over the top instead of incorporating it into a layer.

Baker’s Dozen Magic Coconut Squares

Magic Coconut Squares

Servings: 48
Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted.

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place butter in a 13x9-inch pan and place in oven to melt butter.
  3. Remove pan from oven, and sprinkle crumbs over butter, pressing down with a fork.
  4. Sprinkle coconut o ver crumbs, add a layer of nuts and one of marshmallows.
  5. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over the top.
  6. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and drizzle with melted chocolate.
  8. Cool before cutting.

If you haven’t yet experienced the “magic” of sweetened condensed milk, this is a great recipe to start with. The chocolate drizzled over the top makes it a slightly more involved recipe than the original magic cookies, but it also makes the resulting bars a lot more like a candy bar.

These coconut squares are much better after they’ve cooled, when they’ve solidified and their texture comes that much closer to a coconut candy bar.

Chocolate Cheese Pie

Baker’s 1976 prices

From the November 3, 1976 Idaho State Journal, Pocatello edition. The 7-ounce of Baker’s Coconut was 59¢.

Oddly, not all of the recipes call for coconut. It was explicitly a Baker’s Coconut promotion in that you could get seven cents off Baker’s Coconut using the coupon on the back. I found a Pocatello, Idaho Safeway Grocery advertisement from 1976 and in that ad Baker’s Coconut cost $0.59 for a 7-ounce bag. Seven cents off of that is about a twelve percent discount, but I’m not sure seven cents was a big deal even in 1976 dollars.

It’s a better deal than the “save 5¢” on a can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Regardless, whoever owned this before me didn’t use the coupon.

The “save 30¢” for a $1.00 bag of chocolate chips sounds like a much better deal. After testing this cookbook, I could use some more chocolate chips—I’m all out.

The Safeway ad highlights the Baker’s products as “for that special recipe”. You could make some very special recipes with the ingredients in that ad!

This cheesecake is very easy, very creamy, and not too sweet. It contains only cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and some lemon juice in one part of the batch and chocolate in the other. It’s a neat trick, pouring the chocolate on top. The “batter” is very liquid, so that the two flavors will swirl slightly as you add them.

Chocolate Cheese Pie

Chocolate Cheese Pie

Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 package (4 oz.) Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, melted and cooled

Steps

  1. Add sugar to cheese in a bowl, blending well.
  2. Beat in eggs, one at a time; add vanilla.
  3. Measure 2 cups of the cheese mixture; fold in chocolate.
  4. Add lemon juice to remaining cheese mixture and pour into well-buttered 10-inch pie pan.
  5. Top with chocolate mixture.
  6. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Cool; then chill.
  8. Garnish with thawed Birds Eye Cool Whip Non-Dairy Whipped Topping and chocolate curls.
  9. Cut in wedges.

When I made it, because I wanted to try out multiple recipes in this book, I did not garnish with non-dairy whipped topping and chocolate shavings as the recipe calls for. Instead, I used the Broil-On Coconut Topping on the facing page of the pamphlet. Coconut and cheesecake is a great combination, and this topping rounds out the “three from” this pamphlet.

Incidentally… this recipe makes a lot of coconut topping, and I suspect the reason is that you’re expected to snack on it heavily while spreading it over the cake. I suspect you could pack this topping into a pan and bake it for a great bar. Eating it out of the mixing bowl it was amazing.

I used a ¾ recipe for the Chocolate Cheese Pie; I probably could have done with using only a half recipe or less.

Broil-On Coconut Topping

Broil-On Coconut Topping

Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2⅔ cup Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 Baked Chocolate Cake (13”x9”)

Steps

  1. Combine coconut, sugar, buter, milk and vanilla in a bowl.
  2. Spread on warm or cooled cake in pan.
  3. Place in preheated broiler and broil 2 or 3 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.
  4. Cut in squares.

You have to, of course, be careful putting this on any cake, but especially a cheesecake. I took the cheesecake out a few minutes early to make up for the few minutes of broiling it was going to get. I also wrapped the edges in aluminum foil to protect the uncovered parts of the cheesecake from broiling along with the topping.

All-in-all, “The Baker’s Dozen” is a fascinating little pamphlet. I’ve found no reference to it on the various archive sites. If I’m right about the seven cent coupon not enticing shoppers, you may be able to find it intact inside whatever 1976 (or possibly 1977) issue of McCall’s it appeared in, and probably similar home magazines. Unfortunately, I don’t know which particular issue it was inserted into. The pamphlet is copyrighted 1976, which is why I think it’s from 1976. The coupon expires November 30, 1977, so it could possibly have been from early to mid 1977.

The two coconut recipes would definitely get me buying coconut regularly to make sure I always have some on hand if I weren’t already doing so. It may still convince me to use coconut more often.

I hope you enjoy these three from the Baker’s Dozen. I’ll have more recipes later, so keep an eye out for them!

In response to Vintage Cookbooks and Recipes: I have a couple of vintage cookbooks queued up to go online.

November 23, 2022: Baker’s Dozen Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

View application.

A PDF of The Baker’s Dozen.

I said in the first installment that I’d have more recipes later from The Baker’s Dozen (PDF File, 3.3 MB). Here’s the first. I’m a huge fan of oatmeal cookies, so I couldn’t resist trying this recipe. They’re a wonderfully chewy-crunchy oatmeal cookie that flattens naturally into even rounds. The coconut enhances the chewiness without harming the crunchiness. If you sprinkle coconut on the cookies before baking, there’s a wonderful rush of toasted coconut flavor; if you don’t, the coconut flavor is much more subtle but the coconut chewiness remains upfront.

They’re great either way.

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Baker’s Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Servings: 48
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
The Baker’s Dozen (PDF File, 3.3 MB)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp Calumet Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut

Steps

  1. Sift flour with baking powder, salt, and soda.
  2. Cream butter.
  3. Gradually add sugars; cream until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
  5. Add flour mixture in 4 parts, beating just until smooth after each addition.
  6. Mix in rolled oats and coconut.
  7. Drop by teaspoonfuls (½ oz) onto ungreased baking sheets.
  8. Top each cookie with additional coconut if desired.
  9. Bake at 375° for 9 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
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