Old-fashioned christmas butter cookies


Gourmet magazine DECEMBER 1947

An article on Christmas cookies called these the “pride of the thrifty housewife,” and pointed out that “these cookies keep for weeks in a tin or crock—if they can be successfully spirited away while the fragrance of their baking still lingers in the air.” We were taken by the unusual technique for making these butter cookies: Sieved hard-cooked yolks and raw yolks are blended together in the dough, which is perfumed with lemon rind or a dash of brandy. The resulting texture is incredibly crisp and almost flaky.
This is just one of Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies: 1941-2008. Although we’ve retested the recipes, in the interest of authenticity we’ve left them unchanged: The instructions below are still exactly as they were originally printed.

3 hard-cooked egg yolks
1 pound (2 cups) sweet butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 cups sifted flour
3 raw egg yolks
rind of 1/2 lemon or 2 teaspoons brandy
beaten white of egg
1 cup each sugar
1 cup each blanched almonds or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Bake in a moderate oven (350° F.) for 10 to 15 minutes

Put 3 hard-cooked yolks through a fine sieve. Cream 1 pound (2 cups) sweet butter and gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, stirring constantly until light and fluffy. Add the 3 strained yolks alternately with 6 cups sifted flour and 3 raw yolks. Knead the mixture with your hands until thoroughly blended or until the dough is smooth and easily handled. Add the rind of 1/2 lemon or 2 teaspoons brandy and continue kneading. Chill the dough several hours, then roll as thin as possible. Cut it with cooky cutters in as many fancy shapes as desired. Brush each cooky very evenly with slightly beaten white of egg. Sprinkle the tops with a mixture of 1 cup each sugar and blanched almonds or walnuts, coarsely chopped. Place them on a slightly floured cooky tin and bake in a moderate oven (350° F.) for 10 to 15 minutes or until delicately brown, removing each cooky as it is ready.