Sunday, May 20, 2012

December 18, 1947 Cutting Photo Paper, Baking Christmas Cookies, Seeing Aggie's Play, Baking Beans and Favorite Christmas Cookies

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Your letter did not come today but I guess they will all be late till the Xmas rush is over.  We did get the paper and enjoyed it all--even the funnies.  We mailed your Xmas box this week.  There is a box of my homemade candy in the top that you may want to open and eat before it gets too stale.

B is cutting photo paper.  He has been making pictures of the old house for Dr. Richards to send as Xmas cards to his friends.  B is really getting bored with the same ones.  He has made so many.

One of B's slides of the Richards' home, 1947

Our dinner party Saturday night was a big success.  Both of the women called me today to say what a nice time they had.  They were the Wamplers (head of B's department) and the Waggoners.  You know we went to Waggoners for supper not long ago.

I have been making cookies today.  I have quite an assortment now so we'll have something to give company along with a coke during the Xmas vacation.  School will be out Friday till January 5.  B is anxious to have the free time.

The College Theater is putting on a Christmas play Wednesday night.  It is always a big affair but is more interesting than ever this year for Aggie wrote it and is directing it.  I think I told you about her writing.  She sent it to a publisher and they bought it too.  She was simply thrilled to death.

I meant to tell you in my last letter that Alice, Aggie's maid, is gong to work for us when the baby comes.  Aggie wants to help take care of the baby but Alice will do the rest that is to be done.

I can't remember if I told you about the Faculty Wives Christmas party.  It is this Saturday night.  We all share the cost of baked hams and then each takes a dish of something.  I have to take baked beans which I never fixed in my life but I guess I can learn.  I got myself a bean pot like the ones you have.

Christmas is getting mighty close.  You probably won't get my next letter till after Xmas.  We'll be thinking of you all and wishing we could see you.  Make it a Merry Christmas."

                   Lots and lots of love,

                         B & Bonnie

NOTE  from Ann:   Aggie's play was entitled, "For All the Years" and was about the true meaning of Christmas.  A special thanks to Aggie's daughter who so kindly responded when I asked if she could recall the name of the play! 

Baked Beans from the Joy of Cooking, 1946.  (I believe Bonnie added molasses.)

Ice Box Date Cookies

Cook together till thick & then let cool:  1 lb. chopped dates, 1/2 c. sugar and 1 c. water.  Cream 1 c. brown sugar, 1 c. white sugar and 1 c. shortening.  Add 3 eggs, 4 c. flour, 1 tsp. soda and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Divide dough into 4 parts for easier handling.  Roll dough 1/4" thick, spread with date paste.  Roll up like a jelly roll.  Wrap in waxed paper & chill 24 hrs.  Slice & bake at 375 about 8 minutes.  (About 25 cookies per sheet)

No Bake Chocolate Cookies

In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 c. uncooked oatmeal, 1/2 c. cocoa and 1 c. coconut.  In a pan, mix and bring to a full rolling boil, 1/2 lb. butter, 1/2 c. milk and 2 c. white sugar.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla and pour syrup over the oatmeal mixture.  Mix thoroughly and drop by teaspoonful on waxed paper.  Let cool.

Bachelor Buttons

Cream 1 c. oleo and 1 c. brown sugar.  Add 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 egg.  Mix in 2 c. flour, 1 tsp. soda and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Stir in 1 c. black walnuts and 1 c. coconut.  Roll in 1" balls.  Place 2" apart on greased cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly with fingers.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake 10 min. @ 375 till light brown.  Will crisp as they cool.  

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Cream 1/2 c. soft butter and add 1 c. sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla.  Combine and add 1-1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. cocoa, 1/4 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. soda.  It looks dry, but shape into 1" balls.  Put on ungreased cookie sheet and press thumb into each one.  Drain & save the juice of 20 oz. jar maraschino cherries.  Press 1 cherry into each cookie.  Combine in a pan, 1 T + 1 tsp. cherry juice, 6 oz. semi sweet chocolate and 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk.  Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly till chocolate melts.  Spread 1 tsp. on each cherry.  Bake 10-12 min. @ 350.  Cool completely on cookie sheets before removing.

Hungarian Butter Horns

Sift 4 c. flour with 1/2 tsp. salt.  Add 1 crumbled yeast cake.  Cut in 1-1/4 c. butter.  Stir in & mix well 3 beaten egg yolks, 1/2 c. sour cream and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Use hands to blend and shape into ball.  Divide into 8 parts.  Chill while making the filling.  Beat 3 egg whites stiff and add 1 c. sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Fold in 1 c. finely chopped nuts.  Sprinkle powdered sugar on pastry board.  Roll dough parts into thin 9" circles.  Cut each circle into 8 wedges.  Spread 1 tsp. filling on each wedge.  Roll toward center and shape into crescents.  Bake on greased cookie sheet about 15 minutes.  Sift powdered sugar over tops when cool.   

Chinese Almond Cookies

Combine & set aside for glaze, 1 egg and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Combine & set aside for dough, 2-1/2 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. soda and pinch of salt.  Mix thoroughly 1-1/4 c. sugar, 1 egg and 1 tsp. almond extract.  Add 1 c. room temperature lard.  Continue mixing.  Add flour and mix again.  Wrap dough and chill at least 20 min.  Put rack in center of oven and preheat to 325.  Shape dough into 1" balls and flatten to 1/4".  Brush tops with glaze and press 1 whole almond in each center.  Bake 15-18 min. until light brown.  Cool & store airtight.

Gingerbread Shapes

Sift 1 c. brown sugar.  Gradually add to 1 c. shortening.  Beat in 1 egg, 1 c. molasses and 1 T vinegar.  Stir in after sifting together, 4 c. flour, 1 tsp. soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. cloves.  Add a few grains of cayenne.  Roll very thin and cut into shapes.  Bake at 350 for about 15-18 min.  Watch carefully so they do not burn.  


  1. Baking Christmas cookies with Grandmommy is one of my favorite memories. :)

  2. Yes, definitely a beloved tradition for the bakers and the recipients!


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