Billy Goats are old fashioned cookies dating back to the 1940’s and 1950’s. The strange name probably comes from the shape of the cookies, since they are bumpy and irregular, like a Billy goat. Apparently the history of the name has been lost, because several hours of research (I know, I need to get a life) has turned nothing up. Numerous recipes for these retro-style cookies have been published, mostly in older recipe books, and some on the internet; while ingredients vary, most call for some kind of sour element – sour milk, sour cream, or buttermilk; spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, mace; along with walnuts, and dates. Some of the recipes also call for raisins. Billy Goat’s Whiskers is another name for these cookies; that name, however, doesn't fit since the cookies don’t contain coconut and they really don’t resemble whiskers of any kind.
These cookies are not beautiful, but they taste good and will make a great addition to a cookie tray; they’re also good for after school treats, so make plenty to fill up the cookie jar. And if anyone out there knows the origin of the name, Billy Goats, please let the BellaOnline readers know through the Desserts Forum.
About 6 dozen cookies
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk or sour milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 cups chopped dates
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Cream the butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, until well-incorporated.
- Add the buttermilk or sour milk and vanilla.
- Stir together the flour, cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, cloves, allspice, baking soda, and salt.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture.
- Stir in the walnuts and dates.
- Scoop or drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, press down slightly, and bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Transfer to cooling racks to cool thoroughly.
- Store in an airtight container.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 93 Calories from Fat 44
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 48% Protein 6% Carb. 46%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 16 mg
Sodium 58 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 2%