Crullers! It’s not going to shock anyone that the first recipe I tried out of my great-grandmother’s 1927 Butterick Book of Recipes would be a bread, a sweet, and fried in hot fat. That is my favorite kind of recipe. I don’t know if my great-grandmother made these crullers or not, but it’s fun to think she might have and that I followed the same directions she did. I doubt crullers have changed much in the past hundred years, but here is how they fried them on the prairie back in 1927.

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How to make Crullers:

1/4 cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter or shortening. Add sugar; then the well-beaten eggs. Stir the baking powder, nutmeg, and salt with one cup of flour and add alternately with the milk to the first mixture. Add additional flour to make a dough stiff enough to handle. (Note: For me, this took about four cups of flour total.)

Toss on floured board, roll one-half inch thick and cut into strips.

Twist and….

….fry in deep fat.

(These fry up fairly quickly so pay attention. Flip them if you’re not frying them in a really deep fryer and remove quickly to prevent overfrying.)

Drain on unglazed paper (what is that? wax paper? I drained them on a paper towel) and when cold roll in powdered sugar. (I just sprinkled them with regular sugar, while still warm, and ate them, while still warm. All of them. Okay, not really, but this required a lot of restraint.)

The only thing I think I’d do differently the next time I make them is slice the strips more narrowly. I think I made the strips too wide–they really “blow up” bigger when you fry them, to a surprising degree, so I should have started with narrower strips. Otherwise, these were sooo good and I totally felt like a prairie pioneer while I was stuffing my face with them. (More to come from this old cookbook! I want to try the tea cakes and the apple fritters and the beef tongue…. Okay, I’m kidding about that last one. Ewwwwww.)

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on October 30, 2008  

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49 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 10-30

    Actually my grandma made me beef tongue sandwiches for me when I was very little. I remember really enjoying them. I suspect that tongue is one of those things were it greatly matters how you cook it. The donuts look very good though.

  2. 10-30

    Oh WOW!! Those look too scrumptious…….those would go great with this cup of coffee I’m drinking here! Did you eat them all? or did you leave a couple to eat cold? I’m wondering how they taste cold?

    I have my mother’s encyclopedia cookbook from the 40’s (she received when she was first married…she didn’t know how to cook), it has absolutely everything in it!! I love just reading it!

  3. 10-30

    Yummy! One of these cold cold mornings after the snow starts, we all can stay home, I can make these for the family.I love good warm comfort food when all the family is home and the weather begs for us to stay off the road. :weather:

  4. 10-30

    Great I drooled on my keyboard……

  5. 10-30

    Ok, I wish I had not seen these first thing this morning…now instead of my healthy breakfast…I want THOSE!

  6. 10-30

    I drooled, too…

  7. 10-30

    :hungry: so give us all directions to your house and we will bring tea/coffee and we can bundle up and sit on the front porch and eat ourselves into a happy state!

  8. 10-30

    Those are looking mighty tasty, especially with our cool weather here. What time was that you said we should be at your place and we will need those directions. I have my cup of coffee and I am ready to eat.

  9. 10-30

    My favorite cookbook is a 1952 edition of Fannie Farmer. I use that book almost exclusively. My other source of recipes comes from the Hotel Max in Ness City Kansas my grandparents ran in the 1930’s thru the early 1940’s. Many of the recipes from that collection were cut from ladies magazines or gathered from friends. I also have my great-great grandmother’s White House Cookbook. I use it as well. I love the older recipe books, food seems to taste fresher – it is definately made from fresh ingredients, not calls for cans of anything, unless its a jar of beans you put up yourself!

  10. 10-30

    Now I’m hungry, LOL. Great recipe. I’m going to try this one but I’m going to wait until it’s really cold and snwoy out. Oh…that was yesterday, wasn’t it?

  11. 10-30

    Those look a lot better than this oatmeal I’m eating. Did you use Clover milk??

    I’m thinking I should make these for my family. They’d be shocked. I don’t make stuff like this often. Planning on trying your pumpkin butter recipe later today!

  12. 10-30

    Beef tongue isn’t that bad, but the crullers definitely look better! Now I’m hungry for sweet stuff! Guess I should head to the kitchen to see what my favorite cookbook (the Disabled Childrens cookbook, from MN) has in it.

  13. 10-30

    YIKES!!! They look so good. Crullers are classified as low fat, low cholesterol, right? You don’t have to answer that… my taste buds tell me they are! LOL! I just may have to surprise my hubby with some!

  14. 10-30

    Those look great! Actually, they look as if they would be something like funnel cakes, which I know you love. Are they, sorta?

    My grandmother loved beef tongue. I couldn’t tell you how it tasted, because I made the mistake of looking at it whole in the pot. DisGUSTing! My stomach rolls just thinking about that poor tongue floating around in that clear liquid. UGH! I literally lost my cookies once at the dinner table when my serving of beans contained a piece of pork with the hog teat staring at me, looking very much like a…well…hog teat. I can still feel the revulsion, and it’s been over 50 years! I am a very visual person.

    So…for my money…stick with the pastry! :hungry:

  15. 10-30

    I love crullers! My German/Russian aunt would make them. Hers were shaped a little different. She would cut wide strips, cut a slit in the center of the strip and pull one end through the hole.

    They were delicious, with or without a dusting of sugar.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  16. 10-30

    Wow, those look DELICIOUS!!

  17. 10-30

    Those look rather decadent- I’ve always wanted to make doughnuts, I might try your recipe, it doesn’t look that complicated-my (Polish) grandma used to make doughnuts filled with plum jam- they were wonderful.

  18. 10-30

    Those look really good and comforting. I’m going to have to try those this weekend!

  19. 10-30

    Oh, wow, you’ve got another drooler here and I don’t even drink coffee to go with the cruller I don’t have! My grandmother made “fried cakes” – donuts to the rest of us – and they were marvelous. And your green beans look yummy. My daughter flies in today from her new home in Iowa and I wish I liked to bake and cook so I could surprise her with these. She’s just started her own blog, so maybe she’ll try this herself and report on it! Have a Happy Day. :catmeow:

  20. 10-30

    Your crullers reminded me of the POP-OVERS my mother made.
    I don’t remember much about them. I’ll have to search my old cookbooks and see what I can find. I don’t always make but I love to research…..

  21. 10-30

    YUM…boy, could I eat one of THOSE right now…how deliscious looking!

    They look just like the Aunt’s on “Wizard of Oz”..remember she brings a plate out to the farm hands, and says “here, have a hot Crueller…just made”???? Dorothy is trying to talk to her…

    The only part I hate is rolling them out. I don’t know WHY I hate to work with dough, rolling it out. I used to make rolled out cookies when young…but for some reason, I hate it now. I am already DREADING rolling out the pie dough for Thanksgiving. LOL

  22. 10-30

    I just noticed I spelled Cruller wrong. LOL

  23. 10-30

    You really are trying to kill us all, aren’t you?

    Those look delicious.

  24. 10-30

    Oh my gosh. Pastry overload. My daughter is studying to be a pastry chef. Every day she brings home fresh made pastries, breads, doughnuts etc. I love this stuff. These crullers look SOOOOO good, I want to make them. I want to eat them. But I know in another two hours she will come through the door with some little cheese cakes or creme brulee (sp?) or something. I can’t take any more sweets.

    I might have to start working out…nah.

  25. 10-30

    Love these – i can just taste them. Love the green beans too – I am so jealous – they look so pretty.

  26. 10-30

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My grandma used to make these EVERY TIME we would go to her house and NONE of my aunts learned how to make them – as my grandma used no recipe. I have DREAMED of these! lol THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’ve made my day!
    :snoopy: :elephant: :shimmy: :clap: :love: :bananadance: :rockon: :woof: :hungry: :snoopy:

    Blessings from Ohio…

  27. 10-30

    Congrats on the pressure cooker victory!!! You have now opened a whole new realm of canning. I learned pressure first- for the simple reason- I needed to can beans. They look spectacular :thumbsup:
    The crullers made me drool like everyone else.
    Keep up the good work, we’ll all be waiting for more old recipes :cattail:

  28. 10-30

    It’s a good thing we don’t live down the road from you! Yum!!

    As for the beef tongue…when I was young my mom made a roast but wouldn’t tell us what it was. She just said “try it”. We did and it was the most tender tasty roast ever. Then she told us what it was. We never ate another bite. If we would just get past “tongue”.

  29. 10-30

    Yes, Yes, please make the Tea Cakes!! My mom used to make them and she called them Tea Cakes but I always call them tea biscuits since they were more of a cookie to me than cake. Maybe this is the same thing my mom used to make. Anyhow, I love the recipe for crullers, betcha didn’t know there’s a Chinese version too! I love old recipes, can’t wait for you to post more!

  30. 10-30

    Lord have mercy. I was actually drooling while I read this post.

  31. 10-30

    After looking at the pictures my mouth is watering. YUM! *G*

  32. 10-30

    The crullers look yummy.
    Beef tongue is delicious!

  33. 10-30

    Boy, those look good!

    I’m looking forward to the tea cake recipe. My Mom used to make them but I think she has lost the recipe.

    They were ever so good with a glass of milk when we got off the bus in the afternoons!

    I enjoy your blog very much!

    Be blessed♥

  34. 10-30

    My mother made wonderful little drop donuts which she then rolled in powdered sugar, and some in plan sugar. I recall they were ever so much better when hot from the grease. What a great memory! By the way, please tell me how to add one of the little pictures above……I’ve clicked, dragged, and am too stupid, obviously, to make it work!!

  35. 10-30

    I didn’t mean plan sugar…..rather plain sugar.

  36. 10-30

    Beef tongue is good, if fixed right. But I hate the smell of it cooking ick I haven’t had Beef tongue in years. What a pleasant memory!


  37. 10-30

    They look so good! I remember my grandmother calling donuts “crullers”. I don’t like nutmeg so I would use cinnamon. Would that work?

  38. 10-30

    Yum! :hungry:

  39. 10-30

    Oh yummy! Those look as good as funnel cakes! I’m going to have to try making some.

  40. 10-30

    Nell, try double clicking on the pic you want and see if that works. It won’t look like the pic in your box as you type.

  41. 10-30

    Actually, you don’t have to double click, just click once on the pic you want. It will look something like this: : friday:

  42. 10-30

    I swear I would weigh 5,000 lbs. if I ate half of what you show us!!!

  43. 10-31

    Unglazed paper is most likely brown paper bag…torn open to lay flat. In the south, that’s what was always used for draining all those wonderful fried foods. This recipe looks easy and delish! My favorite donut from any of those places that I stay out of now is the cruller shaped one. Nummy!

  44. 10-31

    Susanne- I don’t know whether to thank you or just never come back. Those crullers are so good! Really good! Lip smacking good- I ate too many good! I just made them and my son is looking at the Platter of crullers and asking me if they are fattening- what is the fat content??? I told him to eat one and shut up! Anyway, I’m taking the rest to a Halloween Party- so they will be out of my house.

    My recommendation? Try them if you can take them someplace and share. This recipe makes a LOT of crullers.( and I glazed them with powdered sugar and milk- Good- really good!)

  45. 11-6

    The crullers were great. My kids tried them and said that they tasted like a doughnut. So I decided to change the shape of the dough to a ball and put a whole in the middle (make sure that you have plenty of flour near by). Fry just like you had or in a deep fryer at 400* degrees.
    They are good warmed up the next day in the microwave also.

    Thank you for sharing. Keep the recipes coming.

  46. 5-13

    Tongue? Don’t think so; I prefer not to eat anything that can taste me back… :lol:

  47. 5-22

    Love your blog, I lurk about all the time. The paper I think they used back then was just brown paper. It was used in stores and tied with twine or string. So they saved it for lots of things, and saved the string, my Mom had a huge ball of string that I can remember. I think it would be good to go back to that. Organic. And reuseable, love that! :happyflower:
    Your site inspires me, thank you for your uplifting and loving take on life. :wave:

  48. 2-11

    My mother made crullers and salted them; then served them with watermelon in the summer. It’s a German-Mennonite thing.

  49. 6-12

    I gotta buy the ingredients tomorrow! :happypuppy: :happypuppy:

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