This holiday season, we dug into our newspapers’ archives in search of old Christmas cookie recipes. What you find here is a selection of recipes published in our papers over the years, reprinted with their original introductions and instructions. We’ve been around for a while, but our sister publication, The Warwick Advertiser, goes all the way back to the 1860s.
If you make any of the below cookies (or if you have a recipe of your own), tell us about it and send a photo of your creation to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drop Cookies: Published December 7, 1916
These will keep for several days. Work a cupful of butter until creamy and add gradually, while beating constantly, a cupful and a half of sugar and three eggs, well beaten. Add a teaspoonful of soda dissolved in two and a half tablespoonfuls of hot water and two cupfuls of flour mixed and sifted with a teaspoon and a half of salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Then add a cupful of chopped nut meats, a cupful of raisins, seeded and chopped and a cupful and a fourth of flour. Drop by spoonfuls an inch apart on a buttered sheet and bake in a moderate oven.
Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies: Published December 19, 1935
Molasses cookies and milk make for a good Sunday night lunch, or may be used for dessert with applesauce in the following luncheon or supper: cream of potato soup, cabbage and grated carrot salad, whole wheat bread and butter, milk at least for the children and and tea or coffee for grown-ups if desired.
• 8 cups sifted flour
• 4 teaspoons of soda
• ¼ teaspoon of salt
• 1 tablespoon of ginger
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 3 cups of molasses
• 1 cup lard, melted
• ⅓ cup of butter, melted
• 5-6 cup of boiling water
Sift together, three times the soda, salt, and spices with four cups of the flour. Combine the molasses, melted shortening, and boiling water and then add this to the mixture of flour and spices, blending them well. Add the remaining 4 cups of flour gradually. Let dough sit in a cool place for one hour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and roll it ¼ inch thick and cut with a floured cookie-cutter. Bake in a medium oven (350° degrees F) for about 20 minutes.
Ration Cookies: Published December 9, 1943
Cookies and Christmas holidays seem to go together. A jar filled with cookies provides something easy to serve guests as well as the family. And a box of fancy cookies makes a welcome Christmas gift for someone too busy to do her own baking.
Christmas cookies can be made from plain sugar and cookie dough, rolled thin and cut into fancy shapes. Stars, animals, cookie men and women and diamonds are shapes suggested. They can be decorated with bits of colored candies, or fruits such as raisins or cherries, or they can be sprinkled with colored sugar.
Shortening and sugar may be scarce for holiday baking. These “ration cookies” use bacon fat for shortening.
• 2 cupfuls all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoonful of cinnamon
• 1 teaspoonful of nutmeg
• 1 teaspoonful of salt
• ½ cupful of chopped nuts
• ½ cupful of chopped dates
• ¾ cupful of seedless raisins
• 1 teaspoonful of soda
• 6 teaspoonfuls of milk
• 2 eggs
• 1 cupful brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1 cupful melted bacon fat
• 1 tablespoonful of vanilla
• 2 cupfuls of uncooked rolled oats
Sift together the dry ingredients except for the oats and stir in the nuts, dates and raisins. Beat the eggs, and the sugar and melted fat. To the egg mixture add the milk and dry ingredients alternately, then the oats and vanilla, mixing the dough thoroughly. Drop the dough from a teaspoon on greased baking sheets. Bake cookies 12 to 15 minutes at 375 degrees. This recipe yields about 60 cookies.
Swedish Cookies: Originally published December 16, 1960
How about some delicious Swedish cookies for the Christmas season? These delicate flavored cookies remain tender and crisp when stored. You can make them in various shapes by using different patterns in a cookie press. For more variety, sprinkle them with colored sugar, frost, or decorate with citrons or candied cherries.
The following recipe makes about 10 dozen or more cookies depending on the size.
• 3 cups butter
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 2 eggs beaten
• 1 cup almonds
• 8 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, butter and flour. Mix well. Run through a cookie press. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (350° F) for about 5-8 minutes or until delicate brown.
Himbeerschnitten (Raspberry Almond Meringue Bars): Originally published December 17, 1975
Editor’s Note: In 1975 our papers hosted a reader recipe contest. What follows is the winning “Dessert” entry from Marjorie Kloppenburg Del Grasso.
• ¼ lb of sweet butter
• ¾ c sugar
• 2 c flour
• 1 egg, 2 egg yolks
Cream butter with sugar and add eggs and flour. Roll out dough on cookie sheet (roll over waxed paper). Bake just a few minutes at 350 degrees until the shine disappears.
Spread dough with raspberry preserves and then cover with meringue:
• 2 egg whites
• scant c finely ground blanched almonds
Beat egg whites until peaks form, and then gradually beat in sugar. By hand fold in ground almonds.
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (approximately 15 minutes). When cool, ice with a thin mixture of powdered sugar and lemon juice.