Adventures in Good Cooking Continues and Expands– Betty Cass’ Brown Sugar Cookies

The finished product.
     This recipe was  included in both Duncan Hines original edition of Adventures in Good Eating and The Art of Carving in the Home and in The Dessert Cookbook. It was provided by Mrs. R.T. Cooksey of Madison, Wisconsin,
     Of course I had no idea who Mrs. Cooksey was . . . until I read Louis Hatchett’s introduction to the 2002 edition of The Dessert Book. Here’s what he said, "Mrs. R[ichard] T. Cooksey, Madison, Wisconsin, was the third grand-daughter of John J. Valentine. She married a doctor who moved to Wisconsin. She was also an excellent cook, and a few of her contributions are included here along with her sisters.” 
     By the way, John J. Valentine, a friend of Duncan’s father, was the president of the Wells Fargo Company. He was instrumental in helping Duncan get his first job with his company in December 1898.
     Still have no idea who Betty Cass might be!

Betty Cass’ Brown Sugar Cookies (Using a small dipper, approximately 2 tsp. capacity, I ended up with 76 cookies.)
2 cups (packed) brown sugar  (I used light brown sugar but dark would work, too)
½ cup shortening
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 eggs
2 cups (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (I used pecans that Cora Jane Spiller, Hines' great niece, sent us for Christmas)

1.     Mix in the order given and drop by a teaspoon on buttered baking sheet. (l lined mine with parchment and misted it with pan spray.)
I used a small dipper to shape the cookies and placed them on a parchment lined & sprayed rimmed cookie sheet.
2.     Press pecan half in each one.
3.     Bake in (preheated) 350° oven for 15 minutes. (I discovered that the cookies needed to set for a few minutes before removing them from the pan.)

Other Duncan Hines included on our blog:


  1. Hi - Betty Cass was a well known early to mid-20th century columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal. Her column "Day by Day" included news about interesting local happenings and people from around Wisconsin. She knew everyone in Madison and was probably a friend to Mrs. R.T. Cooksey. Most likely they shared recipes.

  2. Thank you so much of enlightening me! Betty sounds like an interesting woman. Her cookies are certainly delicious. Thanks for taking the time to share this info. Meta