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#1
Old 12-08-2000, 07:52 PM
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My mom has a whole bunch of handwritten recipies for christmas cookies that I'm scanning and trying to turn into a mini-cookbook for our family. But we're stumped on one recipe.

One of the recipes calls for melted chocolate from a "large Hershey Bar." But my mom says these aren't the huge 7 ounce bars they sell today that are intended for cooking, but refers to the candy-bar size that probably sold for 5cents or something. But she can't remember just how big these bars were back when the recipe was written in 1961.
To further complicate the issue, she notes it says "large" and she seems to recall that about that time, Hershey sold a large and a small bar, or maybe they increased the size of the bar. She doesn't remember..

So.. does anyone know just how big a Hershey chocolate bar was in 1961? I presume they used ounces back then, not grams, but any units are ok with me. I checked the Hersheys site, but I couldn't find anything.
#2
Old 12-08-2000, 08:19 PM
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I remember those larger bars. If I remember correctly, when a regular size bar cost 10 cents, the larger bar was 25 cents. Yeah, I would guess about 2.5 times the size. As a paper boy, I wasted a lot of money on the larger size Cadburys Dairy Milk Bar, which I would save under my pillow and secretly eat when I had to go to bed.
#3
Old 12-08-2000, 11:40 PM
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Thanks for the info, but I'm not sure I follow you. If I understand what you're saying, the 25 cent bar was about 2.5 times the size of the 10 cent bar, which makes perfect sense. But what size was the 10 cent bar? Or maybe I've got that backwards, and you mean that it would take 2.5 of the old 25cent bars to make a big 7 ounce bar? That would make the old 25cent bar 2.8 oz which sounds like a strange size.
I'll have to break open one of my Mom's 7 oz bars, they're arranged into rows you can break off, maybe they're in premeasured increments equivalent to the old 25cent bars?
#4
Old 12-08-2000, 11:47 PM
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All I'm saying is that to the best that my memory can recollect, the large chocolate bars which you just don't see any more are about 2.5 times larger than the standard chocolate bar which doesn't seem to have changed in size at all for the last 40 years. I never took notice of ounces, kids just don't worry about those sort of things. What you saw was what you got.
#5
Old 12-09-2000, 12:31 AM
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You might try matching the rest of the recipe up against the ones found on the Hersheys Recipe Page and seeing what they currently use.

Alternatively, the Hersheys Product Chronology might tell you what sizes they had in 1961. (This is a long shot; the page says that it is being updated, but it looks like it will be down for months rather than hours.)
#6
Old 12-09-2000, 01:04 AM
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Ha, grienspace, that is exactly the problem, just like you, I ate enough 25 cent hershey bars, but I never took note of their size either. I feel like a dope. And I'm sure my mom must have used these a kazillion times but she doesn't remember either.

I see the corporate website that tomndebb suggested, and it seems that Hershey's has also developed amnesia and cannot remember its own past product portions. Maybe I'll email them. I poked around their site and could only find a reference to the big 7oz bars.
#7
Old 12-09-2000, 05:44 AM
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At Sam's Club they had a 5 lb. Hershey's bar (the world's largest) on sale for $19.95, but I don't quite think that's what the recipe writers had in mind

I was going to get it, but I could hear the echoes of my mother....."you're gonna get sick eating all that chocolate"
#8
Old 12-09-2000, 06:57 AM
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I ran into the same problem when I was transcribing my grandmother's recipes. Many of them were old recipes cut out of magazines that used products or sizes of products that are no longer available. I had to go into test kitchen mode to figure out the correct ingredients and measurements. Here is what I would do in the case of Candy Bar Confusion:

Go to the store and buy a package of regular Hershey Bars. The plain old flat bars. They sell them at grocery stores in 6 or 9 packs. As a starting point, assume that one bar would be approxiamately the size of a 5 cent 1961 bar. Further assume that the 1961 'large size' bar wuld be about 2.5 times larger than the 'regular size.' Accordingly, try 2 1/2 regular bars in your first attempt at the recipe. Too much chocolate in the finished recipe? (This isn't likely to happen, BTW. There is never too much chocolate in any recipe!) -- use a little less in the next attempt. Too little chocolate? Use more in the second attempt. Once you've got it figured out, be sure to include the ounces of chocolate needed in the written recipe, so future generations won't have to go to this trouble.

Oh, and feel free to send the test batches to me.
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#9
Old 12-09-2000, 01:14 PM
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Well Jess, I figure my mom could do a test batch, but i asked her and she thought maybe she had been using 2 or 3 times the chocolate necessary, and she said, "that's probably why everyone likes them." I dunno, I suppose that if I could find the smaller bars at the candy section of a store I could safely assume that these were about the same size. I figure they're something like 1 or 2 ounces, but I haven't found one yet. I'll look around.
#10
Old 12-09-2000, 05:46 PM
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OK, I think I have the problem solved. I found a regular bar (at a hardware store of all places) and it was marked 1.55oz 43grams. 5 bars would be about 7.75oz, close enough to the 7oz bar. I think the big bars are scored into 5 rows so this makes sense.
#11
Old 12-09-2000, 07:55 PM
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I also remember those larger Hershey bars, but like everyone else I never noticed how many ounces they were. Oh well.
BTW; Here's a link to a pretty good recipe book program for Mac's, in case anyone's interested. Shareware, and cheap.
http://home.flash.net/~timbobo/MacShareware/index.html
They also have an address book and some other stuff.
Peace,
mangeorge
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#12
Old 12-09-2000, 08:32 PM
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Thanks for the shareware tip. I don't know if I'll type up all the recipes into a database, I sorta want to take scans of the stained and fading original handwritten recipes, some of these notes go back to the 1930s, they're my grandmother's notes. It takes away some of the family color if you can't see your grandmother's old recipe for chocolate chip cookies in her flowery script. I'm thinking of doing these recipes in Adobe Acrobat, then I can burn a CD for each of my brothers and sisters who want a copy of the cookbook. With Acrobat I could put it in PC/Mac format, most of us have macs but a couple have PCs. I can include tons of high rez scans of the original pages, in case they want to make a print of a page. I think I can type annotations to the handwritten recipes right on the page. Last year, I took some pictures of my mom's cookies on her favorite fiestaware, scan em, package it with the recipe scans, put it all together and zap it onto CDs. I like Acrobat.
Anyway, my Mom made a fudge recipe and I had a sample. I think it does have about twice the necessary chocolate. The new measurements should work better, they indicate she should use about 60% less chocolate. The fudge looks just like melted and reformed chocolate bar, it's about as hard as the original hershey bar was.
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