gourmet magazine cookie recipes

Cookies with Mr. T: Brandy Snaps

Greetings, folks! I feel like it’s been a while, but I am back with some more cookies. Today we are finishing off the 1940s with a pretty short and simple recipe for Brandy Snaps. That being said, they didn’t turn out quite right for me, as you will see...

Cookies with Mr. T: Jelly Centers

Hello readers! For 1948, Gourmet magazine provides us with a recipe for jelly centers. The book says that these cookies are “exactly what you want when you’re in the mood to pamper yourself.” Don’t get carried away here, book editor. The end result wasn’t bad, but they didn’t really seem all that decadent to me. I will say, though, that this was a pretty easy recipe and didn’t require as many ingredients as some of the other ones I’ve done. Let’s get down to it.

Cookies with Mr. T: Moravian Christmas Cookies

Welcome back, folks! Today, we’re in December, 1946. Did you know that December of 1946 marked the release of It’s a Wonderful Life in theaters? I didn’t either, until I went to Wikipedia and typed in 1946. As this is a Christmas cookie, you can eat it while you watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Just ignore the fact that it’s 80 degrees outside.

Cookies with Mr. T: Cinnamon Sugar Crisps

Hey cookie lovers! I’m back for another installment of Cookies with Mr. T. Apologies for the lack of posts lately; a month in the Midwest followed by a busy teaching schedule in July kept me pretty busy. But, I am back and ready to take you on another baking adventure. Today we are in 1944, and we are baking Cinnamon Sugar Crisps. This baking experience was one of those rare occasions where the end product turns out nothing like the recipe indicates, but you still end up with something delicious nonetheless.  

Here are the ingredients (I am giving you the amounts provided, but I cut everything in half to make a smaller batch):

1/2 cup butter or margarine 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 2/3 cup dark molasses 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 2 1/2 cups pastry flour (as usual, cake flour is fine) 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Cream together the butter or margarine (the editors suggest real butter) with the sugar until the mixture is light and lemon colored. My soon-to-be mother-in-law got me an awesome stand mixer for my birthday, so I put that to good use here. Although it doesn’t say, I’d recommend softening the butter. I didn’t, and it did not mix easily.


2. Once you’ve creamed that, beat the egg (I just did it with a fork) and mix it in. Then, mix the almond and vanilla extracts into the molasses and mix that in. Now, I didn’t have dark molasses, but apparently you can substitute different kinds of molasses for each other. The flavors can be a bit different, but it’s fine. I had unsulphured molasses, and so I used that.


3. In a separate bowl, sift together the pastry flour (again, I used cake flour), baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. The recipe called for a “generous” two teaspoons of cinnamon and ½ teaspoon salt, so I just didn’t level off the measuring spoon. In lieu of sifting (I don’t have a sifter), I just used a whisk.


4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter and molasses. I turned on the stand mixer, let it do its thing, and slowly poured in the flour mixture while it was going. In general with the stand mixer, ingredients can get pushed out beyond the reach of the mixers, even as the bowl is rotating, so I just push ingredients back into position with a spatula while it’s mixing.

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5. At this point, according to the original recipe, you should have a cookie dough that can be rolled out. I had nothing even close. What I ended up was more like cupcake batter than cookie dough. Fortunately, the friendly editors know about this, and tell you to put the batter/dough in the fridge for at least three hours. I thought that meant I was on the right track and happily bagged up the mixture and put it in the fridge. When I took it out five or so hours later, it was still a battery, sticky mess. There was no way I was going to roll this out. However, the batter/dough/whatever it is was tasty, so I decided to just proceed as I could. I tried to take some out by hand (and then by spoon) and drop it on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, but that proved difficult as well. Jess suggested I cut the corner of the bag and squeeze the cookie substance out like it was a pastry bag, so that is what I did.

6. The directions say that at this point you could moisten the cookies with milk, water, or fruit juice and then sprinkle them with mixed sugar and cinnamon. The gooiness of what I had meant I didn’t need to wet them, but I did sprinkle some sugar on them.


7. Put the cookies into an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees. The directions say 10-12 minutes, but since what I had was very different, I just kept an eye on them and took them out when they looked done. I didn’t time it exactly, but it actually was around 10-12 minutes.


8. As you can see, what came out of the oven was pretty sad and deformed looking. I let them cool a bit, and then Jess and I dug in.


Turns out, they were actually pretty tasty. The accompanying picture in the recipe book showed small, flat, crispy cookies, but the cookies I ended up with were big and soft. The smaller ones ended with varying degrees of burnt on the bottoms, but the bigger ones were fine. I ended up throwing out two of the smaller ones for just this reason, and then Jess and I may or may not have finished the remaining ones immediately. So, if a recipe ever doesn't turn out as planned, don't freak out, because you may still end up with something pretty delicious.


Cookies with Mr. T: Scotch Oat Crunchies

Welcome back to another edition of Cookies with Mr. T! In today’s post we’ll be making the best cookie recipe from Gourmet Magazine for 1943, scotch oat crunchies. Given WWII, recipes abounded for using oats, and this cookie recipe is no exception. I think this one turned out much better than those honey refrigerator cookies from 1942.

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.