Cookies with Mr. T: Honey Refrigerator Cookies

Hello, Last Call readers! I’m back with another cookie recipe. This time we're going back to 1942. The top cookie recipe of that year from Gourmet Magazine was for honey refrigerator cookies and, let me tell you, they are about as exciting as they sound. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. The “honey” part of the recipe is noteworthy, as in 1942 WWII was in full swing and sugar was being rationed. attachment-5360e88de4b0ff1ad7adaf1c

So, here are the ingredients you’ll need:

½ cup honey ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup shortening 1 egg 2 ½ cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup nut meats

I had no idea what nut meats were, but the book’s editor helpfully tells us to use coarsely chopped walnuts instead. Also, the recipe said that this would make about 80 cookies so I halved everything. I like cookies, but I don’t need 80 of them.


1. First, cream together the honey, brown sugar and shortening.

See, refined sugar was produced overseas so was in limited supply during WWII. However, brown sugar was made from sugar cane grown in Louisiana, Florida, and Texas so was more readily available.

Basically, I just put these three ingredients into a mixing bowl and mixed it with the hand mixer until it was smooth and creamy.


2. Beat in an egg.  Again, I used to hand mixer and beat it until it was pretty well mixed in. When I was done mixing, it looked something like the above photo.


3. Add in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nut meats/walnuts. Like I said in the last post, at this point I mix by hand to avoid overworking the hand mixer.  When you’ve mixed it all up, you should have a dough-like mixture. I say dough-like, because mine never became a really good dough. I added the correct amount of everything, but it still just felt a little dry (and kind of crumbly).


4. The original directions give the option to press the dough into refrigerator cookie molds, but the editor says to just roll the dough into 2-inch diameter rectangular logs, which is what I did (although I suppose mine were more round than rectangular). Then, put these logs in the refrigerator for a day or two. I refrigerated it for one day.




5. Preheat the oven to 400. While it’s preheating, slice the dough and place the slices on the cookie sheet and put it in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. While it’s baking, grab a drink. This time I had a Mang-o-rita. It was absolutely terrible, definitely the worst of the –rita family, and that’s saying a lot.

I pulled the cookies out after 10 minutes. The bottoms were burnt a bit, but the rest of the cookie was fine. I also placed the cookies too close together, because I just didn’t want to have to do multiple batches, so you should probably avoid doing what I do in the picture above, and place them two inches apart from each other.


I will say, we did not like these cookies. After the Mang-o-rita the expectations of my palette were pretty low, and these still did not hit the spot. As you can expect, they were not very sweet, but they also had very little flavor at all. As I expected from the dry, crumbly dough, they were not soft. Jess said they would be better described as crackers than cookies. Maybe dipped in coffee or tea, or frosted with something, they would have been better, but I think I’ll pass on this recipe in the future.

While these cookies may have been a bit disappointing, I'm looking forward to next time, when we'll be checking out 1943 and baking some cookies with oats and jam.

About the Author

Mr. T. Engaged to Jess. Professional student in the latter stages of my PhD. Baking is my jam so I’m baking my way through The Gourmet Cookie Book (and blogging about it).