In the 1930s, producers of a popular radio program called Jake and Lena invited listeners to write in for this recipe. My mother changed the name from Jake and Lena Cookies to Poor Man's Cookies because they contained no eggs, milk or nuts. Despite the name, the cookies are rich in taste!

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Recipe Summary test

prep:
20 mins
cook:
10 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
21
Yield:
21 servings
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Ingredients

21
Original recipe yields 21 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a mixing bowl, combine oats, sugars, flour and salt. Combine soda and water; stir in oats mixture along with shortening and vanilla. Roll into walnut-size balls. Place on greased cookies sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven; allow to stand 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

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Nutrition Facts

153 calories; protein 1.6g; carbohydrates 24.8g; fat 5.4g; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 86.7mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (23)

Rating: 5 stars
01/27/2007
Very good! The dough was crumbly and it took some work to form them into balls, but after working with it a little, they turned out to be great! A little hard to get off the pan, so use a little Pam!! Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
05/25/2008
I tried the recipe for myself except i used margerine instead of shortening because i didn't have any. They were really good but the fact they come out looking like caramelized puke tells me i did something wrong! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
10/09/2009
I turned this into Poor Man's snickerdoodles!I didn't have any oats, so I just substituted it with 1 more cup of flour instead. Also added about 2 tsps of cinnamon. It became very crumbly and dry so I added water (unsure amount) that made it the 'dough-y' consistency (I had to add some, then add more, etc). I then rolled them into small balls and in a small bowl rolled them with a sugar/cinnamon mix (1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp sugar). They tasted great! Oh and baked at 350 for 15-18 minutes. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 4 stars
07/05/2011
Very good cookie for when you're out of eggs and don't want to cream butter. I used margarine instead of shortening, and probably dumped a bit more water than stated, because my dough ended up needing some more flour (about 2/3 cup) in order for me to be able to roll it. I used about 1/2 cup less brown sugar because I knew I was going to add raisins. Flattened them a bit and baked all in one go in the oven, so baked for 14 minutes instead of ten. Next time I will probably flatten them some more, as they don't spread out at all, but they sure were pretty tasty, at least as tasty as those cookies requesting lots of eggs and butter and etc. UPDATE: This time I was careful to put the correct amount of water, but the texture of the cookie was actually worse this way. I have determined that adding about 3 tbsp more boiling water and ~2/3 cups more flour (or as needed to make a fairly sticky dough, but firm enough to roll balls), makes a more tender and less flat and sticky cookie (now I understand the caramelized puke comment of one of the other reviewers... If recipe is followed exactly, the final product looks very unnapetizing, dark in color, sticky in appearance, and the oats taste raw and very chewy). P.S. I keep using margarine instead of shortening, as I never have shortening in the house. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
01/29/2010
Wonderful nut, egg, butter, and milk free cookies!! The middles were a little gooey at first, but once they cooled they held their shape just fine and tasted wonderful! Thank you so much for the recipe! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2010
Was Cheap to make and Delicious! big hit @ church functions Read More
(2)
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Rating: 4 stars
01/04/2007
I give this recipe four stars because my little son, allergic to all dairy and eggs, loved them! I baked these cookies for him to have during the holiday season, so he had some "Christmas cookies" to enjoy with the rest of us. Thanks. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2009
These are delicious! The dough was very crumbly so I added a few drops of milk to it (I suppose water would work well too). A couple of minutes before they were finished, I used a fork and flattened them down. They looked great. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
03/29/2007
I have re-named these "Lenten Cookies". My neighbors can't have milk, eggs or butter for Lentl, so I made them a batch of these. They were so good I made another batch for my family. I added cinnamon and extra vanilla and I chopped up some salted peanuts really small and added them to the recipe. For the batch for my family, I added both peanuts and chocolate chips - Wonderful! Read More
(2)