Sunday, December 7, 2014

  15 Fabulously Festive Mid Century 
Christmas Recipes

Tis the season to eat and be merry! Here are 15 authentic mid century recipes that will make you the retro star at all your holiday gatherings this year. Some of these recipes are much more involved than we may be used to now a days, so it's best to plan on making them a day ahead of time.


Cookies For Santa (1952)

When he comes down the chimney he'll love to find these tasty cookies, they're his favorite!


1 cup shortening                                                                                            1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup molasses                                                                                              1 tsp salt
2 cups sifted flour                                                                                         1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon                                                                                              1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup raisins                                                                                                 1 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup chopped citron, candied orange and lemon peels

Slowly melt shortening and let cool. Add molasses and egg, beat well. In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Put raisins, nuts and fruit peels through a food processor. Add to batter. Drop by teaspoons 2" apart on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Marshmallow Cream Fudge (1957)

Chocolaty rich and luscious!


1 jar marshmallow cream                                                                      2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter                                                                                       1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt                                                                                           1 tsp vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips                                                     1/4 chopped nuts (optional)

Bring marshmallow, evaporated milk, butter, sugar and salt to full boil, stirring. Boil 5 mins over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until melted, then add vanilla and nuts. Pour into greased 8" square pan and chill until firm. Makes about 2 1/4 lbs of fudge.  

Chocolate Almond Crunch (1957)

Crisp combination of chocolate and almonds.


1 cup butter or margarine                                                                              2 Tbs instant coffee
1/2 tsp salt                                                                                                   1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla                                                                                                 1 cup sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips                                                                   2 cups sifted flour 
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat over to 375° F. Blend butter, coffee, salt, almond extract and vanilla. Beat sugar in gradually, then flour. Add chocolate chips. Spread in ungreased 15" x 10" pan. Sprinkle and press almonds over top. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes. Cool, then break into irregular pieces.

Original Toll House Cookies (1957)

America's favorite, studded with big chunks of chocolate.


1 cup + 2 Tbs sifted flour                                                                      1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt                                                                                           1/2 cup butter or shortening
6 Tbs sugar                                                                                          1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp water                                                                                         1 egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips                                                            1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375° F. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and water and blend well. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate and nuts. Drop by half teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Yield: 50 cookies. 

Kangaroo Cookies (1957)

From Australia, tender cakes with lots of chocolate down under. 


1/2 cup softened butter                                                                  1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbs lemon rind                                                                          1 tsp vanilla
1 egg separated                                                                             1 cup sifted flour
1/4 cup water                                                                                1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs confectioners sugar                                                              1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375° F. Blend butter, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon rind and vanilla. Beat in egg yolk. Add flour alternately with water. Add chocolate. Beat egg white until stiff but not dry. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar gradually until stiff and satiny. Fold into chocolate chip mixture. Spread into 8" square pan lined with wax paper. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over top at once. Cool. Yields 16 2" squares.

Dutch Treats (1957)

Glorious gift from Holland, dark chocolate spiced with candied fruits.


1 cup sifted flour                                                                                  1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda                                                                               1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup                                                                         1/3 cup sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips                                                            1 tsp vanilla 
1 1/2 cups chopped candied fruit                                                             1 egg

Preheat oven to 350° F. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda - set aside. Bring butter, corn syrup and sugar to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Beat in flour mixture, egg and vanilla. Drop by half teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle 1 tsp candied fruit over each cookie. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Yields about 6 dozen.


Christmas Jelly Poinsettia Cake (1955)

For those casual holiday get-togethers, be sure to server this elegant Christmas cake to your guests.


3/4 cup shortening                                                                                2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar                                                                                   4 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites                                                                                         1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla                                                                                    1 cup milk
Apple raspberry jelly (or whichever jelly you prefer)

Cream shortening thoroughly. Add sugar gradually and continue creaming until very light and fluffy. Add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating until smooth after each addition. Pour batter into two well greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350° F for 30-35 minutes. When thoroughly cooled, spread apple raspberry jelly between layers and frost with cream cheese frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 Tbs lemon juice                                                                          6 cups sifted confectioners sugar
8 ounces cream cheese                                                                    Apple raspberry jelly

Blend together cream cheese and lemon juice. Add the sugar gradually and blend thoroughly. Use to frost the top and sides of cake. Stencil the outline of the poinsettia on top of the cake with a sharp instrument. Pipe frosting along the stencil lines of the petals. Tint a small amount of frosting green and pipe decorative leaves on the sides of the cake. Heat the jelly slightly until it melts. Fill in poinsettia petals with liquid jelly. Decorate center with red cinnamon candies. 

Orange Cupcakes & Orange Eggnog (1955)

The perfect treat for tree trimming time!

Cupcake Ingredients

1 package white cake mix                                                                         1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar                                                                                          1/4 tsp almond flavoring
1 egg white                                                                                             1 cup shredded coconut
3 Tbs orange juice                                                                                   Mandarin orange sections

Prepare and bake cupcakes according to directions on the package. Combine egg white, orange juice and salt in top of a double boiler. Beat with electric mixer until sugar is dissolved. Place over boiling water and cook, beating constantly for 7 minutes, or until frosting stands in peaks. Remove from heat; add flavoring and beat until thick enough to spread. Frost cupcakes, sprinkle with coconut and top each with an orange section. Makes about 18 cupcakes.

Eggnog Ingredients

24 ounces (about 4 cans) orange juice concentrate                                                     2 quarts eggnog
2 quarts milk                                                                                                         1 pint brandy

Pour concentrated orange juice into a large punch bowl. Add milk and beat with electric mixer until blended. Stir in eggnog and brandy. Garnish as desired, makes about 25 cups. 

Spiced Plum Pudding (1955)

In most homes, Christmas wouldn't be the same without this eye-catching delicacy; it's easy to make!


2 cups sifted flour                                                                                  1/4 cup shortening, melted
1/2 cup sugar                                                                                         2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt                                                                                               2/3 cup molasses
1 tsp baking soda                                                                                   1/3 cup milk
2 tsp ground ginger                                                                                1 cup raisins
1/2 tsp nutmeg                                                                                       3 cups mixed, diced 
1 tsp cinnamon                                                                                          candied fruit

Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture. Add shortening, eggs, molasses and milk. Mix thoroughly. Stir in raisins and fruit, mix thoroughly. Grease and lightly flour a 1 1/2 quart pudding mold. Fill mold two thirds full with batter. Cover with a tight fitting lid or tinfoil. Place in a large pot and fill the pot with enough water to come halfway up the mold. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer at boiling for 3 hours, adding more water as needed. Remove from water and let stand a few minutes. Unmold on a serving plate and garnish as desired. Makes 12 to 16 servings. 

Christmas Belle Cake (1952)

Dazzling as a Christmas tree, light as a snowflake, luscious as a sugarplum! Here's a thrilling treat to set before your merry holiday guests, the perfect Christmas cake!


2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour                                                                         3 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt                                                                                                   1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening                                                                                      1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla                                                                                         1/4 tsp almond extract
4 egg whites                                                                                              1/3 cup sugar

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 1/3 cups sugar. Add softened shortening, 3/4 cup of the milk, almond extract and vanilla. Mix until the flour is just dampened then beat with a mixer for 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with 1/3 cup of sugar until it's meringue. Add the meringue and remaining milk to the mixture and beat for one minute longer. Pour batter into two round 9-inch pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes or until done. Allow to cool completely. 

Yuletide Frosting

6 Tbs butter                                                                                     1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla                                                                                     1 egg white
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar                                                           2 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
2 1/2 Tbs grated lemon rind                                                              2 Tbs chopped raisins 
2 Tbs chopped nuts (any)                                                                  2 Tbs chopped canned cherries

Cream together butter, salt and vanilla. Add egg white. Add confectioners sugar alternating with lemon juice, beating well after each addition. Add lemon rind and beat until it's the right consistency to spread. Tint a delicate green. Add the chopped raisins, nuts and cherries to half a cup of the frosting and spread it between the cake layers. Frost the rest of the cake with remain frosting and decorate with red and silver sprinkles. 

Cranberry Tree (1958)

A delicious, old fashioned cranberry relish mold. Tart and sweet!


2 1/2 cups crushed pineapple                                                        2 packages cherry flavored gelatin
3/4 cup sugar                                                                              2 cups hot water
1/2 cup cold water                                                                       1-2 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 cups ground, raw cranberries                                               1 small orange, ground
1 cup chopped celery                                                                   1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Combine gelatin and sugar and dissolve in hot water. Add cold water, lemon juice and reserved pineapple syrup. Chill until partially set. Add pineapple and remaining ingredients. Pour into a tree mold and chill until firm. Pipe softened cream cheese to decorate.

Yuletide Mold (1958)

Tastes like a creamy, refreshing avocado dip.


1 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin                                                   1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup boiling water                                                                      2 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp salt                                                                                  1 tsp grated onion
2 dashes Tabasco sauce                                                                   2 1/2 cups mashed ripe avocado
1 cup sour cream                                                                            1 cup mayonnaise

Soften gelatin in cold water; dissolve in boiling water. Add lemon juice, salt, onion and Tabasco. Cool to room temperature. Stir in avocado, sour cream and mayonnaise.  Turn into mold and chill until firm, at least 5 hours or overnight. Unmold on serving plate. Fill center with curly endive and tiny stars cut from pimento. Trim platter with orange sections. Makes 8 to 10 servings.  

Jack Frost Dessert (1958)

Inside this coconut frosted cookie igloo is a luscious fruit medley!


1 package of date bars                                                                              3 medium oranges
1 cup grapes                                                                                            1 ripe pear
2 over ripe bananas                                                                                  1 can pineapple bits
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries                                                         1 Tbs brandy flavoring
1 1/2 cups tiny marshmallows                                                                   1 cup crushed pineapple
1 cup heavy cream, whipped                                                                      1 1/4 cups coconut flakes
gumdrop stars                                                                                          sugar bells

Break date bars into bite-sized pieces and spread on a pan; set aside. Prepare fresh fruits: Peel oranges and cut sections in half. Halve grapes and remove any seeds. Peel and cube pear. Peel bananas, cut lengthwise and slice. Combine fresh fruit, drained pineapple bits, cherries, marshmallows and brandy. Toss lightly and chill one hour. Arrange half the date bar pieces in an 8 inch circle on a serving plate. Mound fruit mixture on top, shaping like an igloo. Cover with remaining date bars. Over this, carefully spoon un-drained crushed pineapple. Chill about one hour. 
Before serving, frost entire dome with whipped cream. Sprinkle with coconut, covering completely. Stud with gumdrop stars and top with sugar bells. 

Cherry Candle Cake (1958)

Looks like Christmas! Light the candle and whisk this beauty to the table. When you cut the airy cake, folks will see the red flakes of cherry and the green layers of pineapple filling. 


1 package cherry cake mix                                                                   2 1/2 cups crushed pineapple
1 package lime flavored gelatin                                                            1 cup heavy cream, whipped
food coloring                                                                                     candy  bows

Prepare batter from cake mix and bake in a 10-inch tube pan according to package directions. Cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare pineapple filling. Drain pineapple, saving the syrup, and add enough water to the syrup to make 1 3/4 cups. Heat syrup mixture to boiling, add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Chill until partially set, then beat with electric mixture until light and fluffy. Fold in drained pineapple. Whip one cup heavy cream and fold into gelatin mixture. Tint a pale green with a few drops of food coloring. Chill, stirring occasionally, until mixture will mound when spooned. 
To assemble the cake: Cut cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Place bottom layer on serving plate and spread with half the gelatin mixture. Add the second layer of cake and spread with remaining mixture, then top with the third layer of cake. Chill until the filling is firm, 2 to 3 hours. Just before serving whip 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and tint it a pale pink with red food coloring. Spread it on the top and sides of the cake and adorn with candy bows. Place candle in center and serve. 

Coconut Snowman Cake (1958)

I'm Roly Poly the Snowman, and I'm all dressed up with a top hat and candy cane to make your holiday table a merry one!


1 box cake mix of your choice                                                                        1-2 cups of coconut
1/4 cup water                                                                                                1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla                                                                                                  2 egg white

Using a standard 9 x 13 rectangular cake pan, bake one cake according to the package direction. Allow it to cool completely. Cut according to the below diagram: Cut two squares each size  - (A) 5" x 5", (B) 3 1/4" x 3 1/4", (C) 2" x 2". Round corners and stack pieces as in illustration. Cut arms (D). Attach to sides of body with toothpicks. Fasten forearms (E) in position. 

Boiled icing: Combine sugar and water and bring to boil, stirring until it becomes a clear syrup. Beat egg whites until light and fluffy. Add syrup and vanilla to egg whites and beat until stiff enough to form peaks. Frost entire snowman and cover completely in coconut. Decorate with candy of your choice. Cut hat from black construction paper. 

If you try out any of these recipes please let us know how it went by adding a comment or photo below! 

Happy Baking!


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