Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vintage Recipe Thursday: Dessert and a Movie

The yummy Orange Butter Cookie recipe comes from Modern Meal Maker (1935).

I like cookies that I don't have to roll out and cut.  Call me lazy, but I prefer not to have to clean flour and cookie dough off the counter!  These slice and bake cookies are crisp and citrus-y.  Best of all, it's easy to only bake a few at a time and put the rest of the dough into the freezer for next time.

Orange Butter Cookies are to be served with chocolate pudding for a wonderful flavor combination!

Orange Butter Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (one separated)
1 small naval orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½ cup sliced almonds

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter then add the sugar and cream again. Beat in one whole egg and one egg yolk. (Reserve the extra egg white for later.) Zest the orange and mix into the batter.

Mix in one cup of the flour, then add 1 tablespoon of juice from the orange. Mix in the second cup of flour, along with the baking powder and salt. Add more orange juice to work the flour into the rest of the dough. Add just enough for the dough to come together. It will be stiff. (If you add too much liquid, the cookies will be too cake-like.)

Using parchment or wax paper, form the dough into a 2”-diameter roll that is about 6” long. Chill for at least one hour. If you’re not using that day, place roll of dough into a freezer bag and freeze. You can also make just a few cookies at a time and return the rest of the dough to the freezer. To bake from frozen, just follow the instructions below.

Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick silicon mats. You will need one cookie sheet for every six cookies. (I usually only bake six at a time.)

Slice dough from roll into 1/8” rounds and arrange on the cookie sheet, making sure to leave room for dough to spread. Brush tops of cookies with egg white and top with almond slices. When the oven comes up to temperature, bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until browning around the edges. Cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields 4 dozen cookies

Adapted from Martha Meade, “Orange Butter Cookies” in Modern Meal Maker (San Francisco: Sperry Flour Company, 1935), 118.

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Chocolate Pudding

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg (or 2 egg yolks)
1/3 cup (2 ounces) high-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons high-quality vanilla

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and egg (or two egg yolks, both work). Place over low heat and stir in the chocolate chips.

As the chocolate chips start to melt, gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until mixture boils then allow to boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. I’ve specified high-quality chocolate and vanilla because they will have a great effect on the finished product.

Divide between six sherbet glasses or other containers, cover with plastic wrap and chill until cold.

Serves 6

Adapted from “Chocolate Pudding” in Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook (Minneapolis: Macmillan and General Mills, 1950), 219.

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Image from Wikipedia
In Too Many Husbands, Henry and Vicky Lowndes (Melvyn Douglas and Jean Arthur) learn that Vicky's presumed-dead first husband (Fred MacMurray) is still very much alive.  Yes, it is pretty much the same plot as My Favorite Wife, released later the same year. Although My Favorite Wife is better known, I prefer Too Many Husbands. It's more grown up. In My Favorite Wife, it is very clear from the beginning of the film that (spoiler alert!) Irene Dunne's character is destined to end up with Cary Grant--after all, his new wife is awful.  What I like about Too Many Husbands is that Vicky Lowndes (Jean Arthur) was capable of picking two great guys to marry.  Although Fred MacMurray is the first husband (and billed before Melvyn Douglas), the script isn't prejudiced in his favor.  Neither MacMurray nor Douglas turn out to be secretly horrible by the end of the film to provide a neat and clean ending.  There aren't many films out there like this one.  I definitely recommend it.

Too Many Husbands is available on DVD.


  1. I love Jean Arthur; such a great movie!! THose cookies sound yummy too!! :)

  2. Oh My! That's a lovely dessert, love this combination with the pudding and biscuit.

  3. Wish I would have read this before baking cookies this afternoon, orange sounds much more appealing than oatmeal.
    Such a great recipe, especially since I don't like to roll and cut out cookies either!

  4. Those cookies look fantastic--very handy that the roll of dough can be stored in the freezer until you want a cookie or two.

  5. What a great looking little dessert, and on such a great snack tray!

  6. Great sounding cookies - are you bringing some?

  7. Mom- They're on the cooling rack right now!

  8. Finally had time to get over here to see this cookies! They look great! I like easy too... Maybe that's why i dont blog like i should LOL


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