Wartime Ration Cookies

Wartime Ration Cookies are a historical culinary creation rooted in the resourceful and frugal times of wartime. Originating during periods of rationing, particularly during World War I and World War II, these cookies reflect the ingenuity of home cooks who had to navigate limited supplies and rationed ingredients. This recipe embodies a spirit of resilience and creativity in the face of scarcity.

The ingredients for Wartime Ration Cookies are carefully chosen to work within the constraints of rationed goods. Typically, these cookies contain staples like flour, sugar, and shortening, as well as inventive substitutions for ingredients that were scarce or heavily regulated during wartime. Common alternatives included molasses, honey, or corn syrup as sweeteners, and margarine or lard instead of butter due to its limited availability.

In addition to their practical ingredient choices, Wartime Ration Cookies often showcase the use of oats, dried fruits, or nuts to add texture and flavor. These ingredients not only contributed to the cookies’ taste but also offered a nutritional boost, aligning with the wartime emphasis on making the most out of every available resource.

The preparation of Wartime Ration Cookies is straightforward, reflecting the necessity for simplicity in the kitchen. Home cooks would mix the ingredients by hand, forming a basic dough that could be easily portioned and dropped onto baking sheets. The cookies were then baked until golden, resulting in a humble yet satisfying treat.

These cookies served as a reminder of home, comfort, and normalcy during challenging times. The adaptability of the recipe allowed families to enjoy a sweet indulgence even when traditional luxuries were scarce. Wartime Ration Cookies not only filled a cookie jar but also became a symbol of resilience, resourcefulness, and the ability to find joy in simple pleasures despite the hardships of war.

Here’s Some Dessert Recipes May You Want To Try:


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup shortening, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 14 ounces chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk flour, salt, and baking soda, set aside.
  3. In another bowl beat shortening until soft and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add in honey and maple syrup until incorporated, another 2 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs, one at a time, combining well after each addition. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add in vanilla.
  6. Gradually add the dry-ingredients until fully combined. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. This dough will look very soft.
  7. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes until the edges are slightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 to 9 minutes, before transfering to a wire rack or plate. These cookies are soft, so don’t try to remove them from the pan too early.
  8. Eat warm or store cooled cookies in a plastic container. These cookies will last 3 to 5 days at room temperature or 7 days refrigerated.
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