Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Genevieve's Bon-bon Cookies

If you're looking for a last-minute cookie recipe to take to a holiday party, why not try my grandma Genevieve's bon-bon cookies? (Which are really sugar cookies with powdered or colored sugar.) Merry Christmas, everyone!

Genevieve's Bon-bon Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup sifted corn starch
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

Mix butter and vanilla or almond extract. Mix powdered sugar and cornstarch, add to butter mixture. Add flour. Chill several hours. Roll the dough in balls and bake at 350F about 10 mins. While warm, roll in powdered sugar (or roll in colored sugar prior to baking.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Recipes: Old-fashioned Dumplings

I really believe that no one does Christmas better than Germans. Their neat, picturesque villages are the perfect Christmas villages, and Germans in Rhineland were the first ones to cut down evergreens and bring them in the house to decorate. Not to mention, all of their delicious, rich foods -- mulled wine, wursts, strudels, schnitzels... But something about winter and Christmas always makes me crave dumplings in particular. So, from Genevieve's recipe box, here are:


Dumplings (Old-Fashioned Solid Kind)

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
little sugar

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Mix all ingredients. Put in chicken or beef broth. Cook covered, about 12 minutes.

*This recipe is a little scant on the instructions, so if anyone has suggestions/clarifications, please leave them in the comments!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Recipes: Fruitcake, Larkin 1870

Although they've been out of fashion for years, fruitcakes were once considered a sinful treat, especially for those who lived in climates where fruit was hard to come by in the winter. During the reign of Queen Victoria, they were de rigeur in the finest drawing rooms at teatime, and the tradition extended to America as well. In Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" (one of my favorite of his short stories), he recounts with sweet childhood innocence the tradition of making fruitcakes with his simpatico great aunt and how they saved up their pennies all year to be able to buy the precious ingredients that would go into the fruitcake.

Here then is a recipe for fruitcake from Genevieve's recipe box, attributed to "Larkin, 1870."

Fruitcake, Larkin 1870

2 1/2 C. apple sauce
4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 C. butter
4 C. flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lb. mixed fruit
1/4 lb. candied cherries
1 lb. raisins
1 C. nuts
1 lb. dates, cut up
1/2 lb. dried apricots
1 small package of figs
Candied pineapple

Heat apple sauce and then add baking soda, sugar and shortening. Then add flour, salt and spices.

Put fruit in large pan and add 1 C. of flour; mix well. Add to cake mixture a little at a time; mix well. Fill greased, lined pans 1/2 full of mixture and decorate tops with nuts, cherries and candied pineapple. Bake at 300F about 1-1/2 hours or until done.

And while we're on the subject of fruitcake, it just isn't Christmas until I've heard this song:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lily Haxworth Wallace's Gingerbread Waffles with Marshmallow Sauce

Genevieve's recipe box is a beautiful mess - full of handwritten notes, recipes clipped from the back of boxes and newspaper clippings she thought looked interesting. The following recipe was taken from one of those newspaper clippings, which went into great detail on how to "break in your new waffle iron."

Gingerbread Waffles with Marshmallow Sauce

by Lily Haxworth Wallace, Homemaking Editor

1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
2/3 cup sour milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Whipped cream

Cream shortening and sugar, add the beaten eggs, molasses and milk, then the dry ingredients sifted together twice. Beat just until smooth and bake as directed*, putting the waffles together with whipped cream at moment of serving. These waffles are particularly good served with a marshmallow sauce made by boiling together one cup sugar and one-third cup water to the thread stage (230 degrees F), pouring this sirup over twenty marshmallows which have been melted in the upper part of a double boiler with three tablespoons light cream, and flavoring with vanilla, orange, or any preferred extract, using one teaspoon to the above quantities. Serves four.

*By the directions of your specific waffle iron, I assume.