Peanut Macaroons, a Gluten Free Recipe from 1918

Peanut Macaroons, a Gluten Free Recipe from 1918

This continues the thought introduced in my last post.

I prefer using old cookbooks in my kitchen. One of the reasons is that the recipes use common ingredients, many of which I grow in my garden, just like the cookbooks’ readers would have. Another reason is that the recipes use those common ingredients in creative ways. During World War I, U.S. residents were encouraged to limit their use of wheat, meat, and sugar, and increase their use of fruits and vegetables. A century later, we’re playing the same tune…

Peanut Macaroons is a recipe I found several years ago in a wheatless cookbook originally published in 1918. I’ve made it many times and like this variation of a regular peanut butter cookie. They’re unmistakably peanutty, but light and crispy.

Normally, peanuts (or nuts in general) aren’t considered a frugal ingredient, but for the housewives in 1918, peanuts would have been a crop many could grow in a home garden, unlike other gluten-free flours. In my case, Wal-mart put all their baking nuts on clearance after Christmas. I paid less than $1 a pound, which is cheaper than most non-wheat flours.

Incidentally, that’s one reason why it’s so hard to label foods as frugal or expensive. A bargain for one person is a luxury for another. Depending on where I’ve lived throughout the U.S., shrimp, pecans, and raspberries have been so abundant that they’ve become staples for me to the point that I took them for granted.

Peanut Macaroons

a 1918 recipe, created during WWI as an alternative to wheat-based cookies
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies (approx.)


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1 c. peanuts
  • 1/2 t. vanilla


  • Chop or blend the peanuts into finely ground. Beat egg white until stiff, slowly add sugar, salt, peanuts, and vanilla. Drop by tablespoon on a greased pan and bake in a slow oven (300-325 degrees) for about 30 minutes or until brown.

1 Reply on “Peanut Macaroons, a Gluten Free Recipe from 1918

  1. These sound quite yummy so I’ll give them a try. Peanuts are very cheap (one of the main crops, along with sugar cane, pineapples, mangoes and bananas in my state of Queensland).

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