December 29, 2008

Kenner Easy-Bake Cook Book

I don't remember if I ever had my own Easy-Bake Oven, but I remember that someone, probably my cousin, got one for Christmas in the 1960s. It was the turquoise model, with the flat, metal cut-out burners.

It probably had a cookbook like this one, Kenner's Easy-Bake Cook Book (undated, 8 pages), although I don't remember ever seeing or actually using it. We made the cakes from little packets of mixes.

The front of the booklet has a diagram that shows the front of the oven with the front panel cut away so you can see the inside. It operated off of two 100 watt light bulbs. It showed where to attach the wire rack to the end of the oven, where the tiny cake pan rested after it came out of the cooling chamber.

Inserting or changing the light bulbs required the removal of the front panel, which was held on with 6 screws. Pretty simple, really.

The oven needed to preheat for five minutes before you inserted the cake pan full of batter (all 1/4 cup of it) into the cooking chamber. Another pan was inserted after the cake was done to push the pans from the cooking chamber, into the cooling chamber, and then out onto the wire rack.

Two pages are devoted to Easy-Baking Directions. These are short, basic directions for the prepackaged cake mix, frosting mix, brownie mix, cookies, biscuit mix, candy, pie crust mix, pie filling, pizza crust and topping mix and for the pretzel mix. You could bake these mixes in either the Easy-Bake Oven or in Mom's oven. Mom's oven was set to 350 degrees and the baking time was the same. So does that mean the two light bulbs provided a 350 degree oven environment? Hard to believe.

Two other pages featured directions for using full size prepared cake, frosing, biscuit and piecrust mixes. There are also recipes you could make from scratch in case you were out of the special Easy-Bake Oven mixes. The booklet has recipes for Chocolate Cake, Crazy Cake, cookies called Snow Mounds, Quick Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Angel Cookies and Oatmeal Fruit Bars. I never remember us kids making Oatmeal Fruit Bars. I'm pretty sure we went right for the good stuff with the chocolate in it.

If the stains on the recipe pages are any indication, this particular cookbook was used extensively by some budding little cook.

The rear cover of the booklet has a list of the then-available Easy-Bake Mixes and Sets. Refill mixes were $1 each. Sets, such as a Devil's Food and White Cake and Frosting mix (5 packets) were also $1 each.

Two dollar sets got you mixes and baking pans. The candy sets included baking cups. The Kiddie Dinner set came with 3 complete dinners and special partitioned pans. A little early Walt Disney branding was going on with the Disney Winnie the Pooh Honey Cakes and Cookies set.

For $3 one could get a complete baking set which included 12 mixes, 8 baking pans, a rolling pin and the cookbook. It would also buy a Birthday Cake and Party Set and a Candy Bar set.

The four dollar set was the Easy-Pop Corn Popper - an add-on metal corn popper with a wooden handle. It came with 3 mixes of popcorn and caramel syrup.

This cookbook was evidently published in 1965 or a bit later, as the Easy-Pop Corn Popper, Bubble Gum, Birthday Cake, Party and Kiddie Dinner sets weren't introduced until 1965.


At 5:39 AM CST, Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

WOW! What a GREAT book Kathy. I've never seen it before. (Maybe that's why I don't bake:)

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year Kathy. I just know it's going to be filled with enticing posts!

At 3:21 PM CST, Blogger P-Dot said...

I never had one. By the time they were out I was cooking on a real stove but I do remember that some of my friends that had girls had them and that they really worked. I remember having a slice of chocolate cake from one of them.
what a great collection of books you have.

At 10:07 PM CST, Blogger Rochelle R. said...

There are a lot of easy bake recipes on the net now. Maybe some of them are from your phamplet. The extra mixes are very expensive now so I can see why Moms look for recipes to make their own.

At 9:21 AM CST, Blogger Kathy said...

Louise - Wonder if I'm ever going to get started on any posts for 2009? :-)

P-Dot - The food-related toy that I remember the best (and liked the most) was some miniature food that fit into our play Corning Ware. Both my cousin and I received these one year. I haven't ever seen any since then.

Rochelle - Back then, with no internet, I guess Moms just used regular cake batter.

At 6:47 PM CST, Blogger Deborah said...

I still have mine after 40 years, and it works, but I do not have any of the trays that came with it.


Post a Comment

<< Home