Old-Fashioned Christmas Butter Cookies (December 1947)

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These taste awesome, and are not nearly as much of a pain as I expected.

Putting the eggs through a sieve was unnecessary and messy—just crumbling them into the mixer worked fine. There was no way to get these rolled to 1/16″—the dough was very crumbly until it really warmed up. The recipe also made a lot of dough—I had to split it into four to roll it.

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Purple Stocking

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My daughter requested a purple Christmas stocking, because “purple is my best color!” I thought I had extra purple fabric from Halloween (when she was a purple ghost) but it turns out I used it all, so yesterday we went fabric shopping. Since Santa is coming to our house *tonight*, it had to be made today.

We found purple flannel, and I used an existing stocking as a template. We found glitter glue tubes at CVS to decorate (with red, which is her other “best color”) and stencils I had lying around. As long as the paint dries by bedtime, we are ready!

Chex Mix

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I love Chex mix, but the recipe on the box is Different—for one thing, it uses less butter! This isn’t quite the original (I use Cheerios instead of peanuts, and more wheat chex than the other two) but is based off the 1950s box recipe.  I also use more seasoned salt.

Preheat oven to 275F and melt 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

Stir in:
2 tbsp worchester shire sauce

Mix together and then mix into the butter:
2 tsp seasoned salt

1/8tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic

Add:
2c rice chex
2c corn chex
3c wheat chex
3/4c Cheerios
.5c broken pretzels Stir to coat the cereal and pretzels. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and repeat for a total baking time of 40 minutes.

Katherine Sniffen

Gingerbread Muffins

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My household really loves ginger. A few years ago, we found a recipe off of the King Arthur Flour website for a real gingerbread—not the hard, flat cookie-house kind, but a moist, spicy bread with chunks of crystallized ginger.

Because the Banana Bread Muffins were such a success, I decided to try muffins with the gingerbread. It worked really well!
Our visiting friends loved them, and they were easy enough that Jr Asst Baker could help stir and whisk.

We used black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg as our spices. The original recipe has 1/4 tsp of cloves (which I omitted) and lists the pepper as optional.

2 cups all-purpose flour or 2.25 cups white-whole-wheat flour
0.25 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp ground ginger, or 3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
0.25 tsp (or more) ground nutmeg
0.5 tsp black pepper

Mix the above ingredients thoroughly in a big bowl, (unless you are using fresh ginger—save it to mix with the butter).

1 stick (0.5 cup) melted butter
0.75 cup molasses
0.25 cup water

Melt the butter in a 2 cup heatproof measure. Put the molasses in the same measuring cup (it will sink to the bottom and be easy to measure). Pour both into the dry ingredients, add the water and mix.

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup water and 4 tbsp buttermilk powder)
1 egg

In the same measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Mix thoroughly.

Optional:
Add 0.5 cups diced crystallized ginger

Pour 0.25 cup scoops into standard (greased or lined) muffin cups, a buttered 9″ square cake pan, or a buttered loaf pan.

Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes for muffins, 30-35 minutes for a cake pan, or 45-50 minutes for a loaf pan. Test with a toothpick—they are done when it comes out clean.

Let cool 15 minutes on a rack before slicing or removing from the muffin tin. Serve warm, optionally with whipped or ice cream