The Brown Bobby Doughnut Machine was marketed as a money making business idea in the 1920’s, 1930’s by the Food Display Machine Corp. Anyone could set up shop or cook these doughnuts from home and sell them.
The Brown Bobby Greaseless Doughnut is a triangular shape with a dense cakelike texture. They are cooked in the Brown Bobby machine which cooks like a waffle iron. Although the doughnuts are not deep fried they do have fat in the recipe so while they are called greaseless they are not fat free.
My great grandmother was a very industrious lady. To supplement the family income she made and sold a variety of handmade goods including handpainted watercolor greeting cards, candy and Brown Bobby doughnuts. My mother remembers well the doughnuts her grandmother made for her.
I recently got to taste Brown Bobbys myself because packed away in my dads workshop attic was my great-grandmothers Brown Bobby Doughnut cooking machine. It was packed away for so long I never knew about this little baby. Mom told me what it was and said to bring it into the house. I was excited at the find because it’s a connection to my great grandmother and I wanted to try it out. We plugged it in to see if it still works and to our delight it got hot in just a few minutes. Well, you know we are getting into making doughnuts now. Not for selling but for once-in-a-while treats.
Our first batch of Brown Bobbys were good but for our taste we wanted more flavor…..cinnamon, vanilla, mace. For our first batch we also tried using a sugar substitute. The texture was good but the doughnuts didn’t brown evenly.
Our next batch included blueberries, cinnamon, mace, vanilla and regular sugar. They were delicious and because of the sugar they browned nice and evenly. They only take 3-4 minutes to cook so they work up fairly quickly.
We also plan on trying to cook clam cakes, in the Brown Bobby machine, to go with clam chowder. Yum! I’ll let you know how that goes.