Hines001Happy Wednesday, All!  So, for this Christmas I decided I was going to give Tom a break from the Mid-Century Menu for dinner for a month.

I decided it would be a nice change to do something GOOD for a while.  Besides, with Thanksgiving past and done my mind has switched gears over to Christmas cookies.  And since I was digging through all my vintage cookbooks looking for cookie recipes, I thought it would be a great time to showcase some vintage Christmas Cookies.  So, for the month of December, I am devoting the Mid-Century Menu to cookies.  Sounds good, huh?  I know Tom is excited.

This week I am starting with cookie I picked out from the Duncan Hines Dessert Book, which was published in 1955.  Now, for those of you who don’t know (like me before I picked up this book) Duncan Hines is not just a company that makes cake mix.  I know, shocking, isn’t it?  Anyway, Duncan Hines was actually a man who wrote travel guides and then happened to start a cake mix business on the side.  Hmm…I wonder which became more popular?  In any case, Mr. Hines would often ask people for recipes if he really liked what he was served, and those recipes became the basis for this cookbook.  There are a lot of interesting cookies in this book, but I decided to start with something simple right off the bat to get the ball rolling.


A brown sugar cookie with nuts?  Sounds good to me.  Easy yet tasty.

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 022

Simple ingredients. 

Ah…so nice not to have anything creepy staring  up at me from the prep board.  Like sardines.  Yuck.

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 024

The shortening, butter and brown sugar.  I thought this was an interesting because these cookies use both shortening AND butter.  I am not sure if that was common back then, but it is the only cookie recipe in this book that does that.

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 026

The sugar, butter and shortening, all creamed together.

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 027

Adding the egg.

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 028

Adding the flour, vanilla and baking powder after the egg was in.

If you haven’t noticed already, there is no salt in this recipe.  I was a little thrown off by that, but I kept going.

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 030

The finished batter with the nuts mixed in.  Looks good!

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 031

The cookies, all neatly portioned thanks to the Pampered Chef disher my mom brought me over Thanksgiving.  Thanks, Mom!

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 033

Finished and ready for the oven, complete with a little nut pushed on the top.  It is supposed to be a pecan half, but I figured since it was a test run I could get away with a third.  Or quarter.  It was pretty small.

Brown Sugar Cookies and Thanksgiving Dinner 035

Here is a finished cookie, fresh from the oven.  Unfortunately, Tom is at work and not able to do his regular first bite shot.  I will have to take a picture when he comes home from work.  In the meantime, I didn’t mind being the first one to take a bite this time.

It was pretty  good, but not great.  I could tell right away that the cookies were missing salt, and they were also a little too greasy for me.  And a little plain.

The Verdict:  A little plain, not good Christmas cookie material.

If I was going to make this for a Christmas cookie, I would a a 1/4 tsp salt, decrease the shortening by half and add a cup of toffee chips.  Or broken up toffee. And maybe drizzle some chocolate on the top, just to make it look fancy.