On the Shelf: Cookies for Santa

Christmas is only a week away, and if baking cookies for Santa (or your family/friends/coworkers) is on your to-do list, you’ll want to check out Benjamin Darling’s delightful little book, Cookies for Santa. The “50 plus cookie recipes sure to please Santa” are drawn from an extensive collection of vintage cooking pamphlets, circa 1900-1960, and are interspersed with take-you-back-in-time 1950’s-style illustrations.

I love to bake cookies, especially at Christmastime, and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes. In Cookies for Santa, I found three that were fairly easy, start to finish, and according to my coworkers, definitely delicious.
Chocolate Crispies, from Baker’s Best Chocolate Recipes, circa 1932, included only six ingredients to mix and spread on a cookie sheet, and yielded 48 cookies. Shortbread Cookies, from Cookie-Craft, circa 1940, were melt-in-your-mouth buttery good – the best shortbread I’ve had outside of Scotland. Chocolate Pecan Wafers, from Chocolate Treats Plain and Fancy, circa 1953, turned out to be a bit more challenging for me, but well worth the effort. Mixing the unsweetened chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and chopped pecans was simple, but I goofed, big-time, using parchment paper instead of greasing the cookie sheet, then using Canola oil spray. I ended up with a less than gift-quality (but still tasty!) batch of cookie boo-boos. In fact, if you try the Chocolate Pecan Wafers recipe, I do recommend using parchment paper, but grease it liberally with butter or Crisco before spooning on the batter.
No matter what kind of cookies you like best – bar cookies, drop cookies, ice box cookies, rolled or cut-out cookies – you’re sure to find a recipe to suit your fancy in Cookies for Santa, available – year-round – at the Harris County Public Library!