Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and the Christmas Cookie Notebook

Christmas cookies

Each year my one-and-only aunt spent the weeks before Christmas making cookies to give as gifts to family and friends.

The tins were filled with a wide variety of goodies from rum balls to seven-layer bars. I looked forward to that tin all year long.

After she passed away, I was given her large cookbook collection. I've shared some of them with my daughters and daughter-in-law, but I kept the red half-size looseleaf notebook that holds my aunt's cookie recipes.

The Christmas cookie notebook

The pages of this notebook contain recipes cut from magazines and copied from various sources. She'd typed others on an old manual typewriter, complete with typos that made me smile. "Giner Bookies" surely must mean Ginger Cookies, right? It's Mrs. George Bush's recipe, published in House Beautiful in December 1984.

The Christmas cookie notebook

A very few pages are handwritten.

The first section is labeled "Stand-Bys." The top of the pages have the source of the recipe; some also have "molded" "bar" "candy" "drop" or other notes.

Some have handwritten notes: "cut salt to 1/4 tsp."

The Christmas cookie notebook

The Glazed Apple Gems from Bon Appetite include a note that they are "very good!" and a date 12/05 when she made them. She noted several changes in oven temperature, baking time, and that she should double the amount of the glaze.

A note on the Rum Balls recipe says "do not add more rum! Thin with water if necessary." That makes me wonder whether she added too much rum once and what the consequences were.

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Some of the recipes came from "J.C.'s mother" in 1974, and from "Debbie" in 1969, from "C and H Sugar," "Gold Medal Flour," and a "Molasses booklet." Others are from "Mama," my grandma.

There are a few pages in the notebook that are copies from somewhere, cut out and glued in with rubber cement that has turned brown with age and shows through the paper. One is a table of candy stages and temperatures.

The Christmas cookie notebook

Since I keep my favorite recipes in a full-size notebook, I could just photocopy the recipes I want and 3-hole punch the pages, but this notebook is truly a treasure in its complete and original form.

It's a snapshot of my aunt's life and a taste of her giving nature, and a collection of some of the treats my grandma made for my father, his brother and little sister when they were children.

Don't worry, I won't tease you about cookies and then not give you a recipe from her collection. I've made these in the past and I usually sent most of them to work with hubby. His co-workers loved them. So did I, but this way I didn't have to eat them all myself. (Yes, they contain white sugar. Substitute with something else if you prefer.)

There was no source cited for this recipe in her notebook.

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder - I used Rumford aluminum-free baking powder (affiliate link)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2  1-ounce squares of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup confectioners sugar for rolling

The Christmas cookie notebook

I didn't have to chop the chocolate; it was well-broken when I opened the package.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

The recipe calls for "two squares" of chocolate, or two ounces. Fortunately I noticed this on the wrapper, that 4 squares = 1 oz, and added the eight pieces needed to make two ounces. That could have been disappointing. If you make these, be sure to use two ounces of chocolate!

The Christmas cookie notebook

Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside. I don't own a sifter, so I stirred them together with my wire whisk.

The Christmas cookie notebook

Stir the chocolate into the melted butter until melted and smooth. It didn't take long for the chocolate to melt from the heat of the butter.

The Christmas cookie notebook

Mix the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add this to the chocolate mixture and mix well, then gradually add the flour/baking powder mixture a little at a time.

The Christmas cookie notebook

Add the chocolate chips and stir well.

The Christmas cookie notebook

Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. I opted for the two hours. The waiting is the hardest part, isn't it?

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. I used greased aluminum foil since I didn't have parchment paper on hand.

The Christmas cookie notebook

Roll the dough into balls of about one inch diameter, and roll the balls in confectioners sugar. The finished cookies are prettier if you coat them rather thickly with the sugar - put more on them than I did!

The Christmas cookie notebook

Place cookies two inches apart on the cookie sheets.

The Christmas cookie notebook

Bake 9-12 minutes, until the tops crack. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Organizing Christmas cookie recipes

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

What is your favorite cookie recipe? Does it have "history?" I enjoy leafing through my aunt's notebook when the holiday season approaches, reading her notes and remembering those delicious tins of cookies she gave us each year.

And while my aunt always gifted her cookies in tins, there are many other ways to present cookies. See how my friend Julie arranges her cookie trays here.

For more simple living ideas and occasional recipes (not always cookies!), subscribe to my weekly-ish newsletter The Acorn here.

The Christmas cookie notebook

The Christmas cookie notebook

Where do you keep your recipes? In a wooden box, a notebook, or on your computer? My aunt kept her Christmas cookie recipes in a half-size notebook. I love looking through it, reading her handwriting and her notes. Here is her recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, one of my favorites.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops


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Our Neck of the Woods said...

Oooh your chocolate crinkles look delicious. I've never made those before so I'll have to add them to my list. It's just the two of us here as well and I've been baking so much! I'm trying to give lots of cookies away so I don't gain a ton of weight haha.

Oak Hill Homestead said...

That's what I'm doing too, Tammy!

Rambling Tart said...

I haven't had a good chocolate crinkle in ages! Your post made me grin. :-)

Oak Hill Homestead said...

I'm glad it made you smile.

Ashley P. said...

I hope you don't mind but I posted a link to my 12 days of Christmas Cookies blog series from a few years back. It has 12 different recipes for cookies, most of which were taste tested and approved by my family. :)

Oak Hill Homestead said...

I'm glad you did, Ashley. Thank you for joining in!

Jenny said...

Thank you for hosting! I love chocolate crinkles. I'll have to give those a try this year. I've shared three recipes ~ one is an older one from last Christmas. I tweeted your cookie exchange and look forward to what everyone else has to share.

Oak Hill Homestead said...

Thank you for joining in, Jennifer, and for helping to get the word out. I appreciate it!

Farmlife Chick said...

Hi! Thank you for the invite to this delicious party and for leaving a comment on my best ever molasses cookies!:)

Oak Hill Homestead said...

Thank you for joining in the fun!

Salma - The Write Balance said...

Your cookies look delicious! I will have to try them out with the kids.

Oak Hill Homestead said...

Thank you, Salma!

magnoliasntea said...

What a fun hop! I love chocolate crinkles with black walnuts. Thank you for sharing your recipe! *droolin'*

Oak Hill Homestead said...

Yum, I hadn't thought about adding nuts to them!

Kathy said...

Wow, this looks delicious! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Mrs Shoes said...

Is anything better than Christmas baking? The special things that I used to only make at Christmas time.. now our nest is empty & sometimes Mr Shoes will ask me to make a holiday treat in the middle of the summer. I oblige him because it's so sweet that he asks & I can certainly afford the effort to make him smile.
Happy Holidays to you!

I came to visit through Chicken Chick's bloghop; I hope you'll take the time to drop in to my blog also & leave me a little message that' you've visited!

Kathi said...

How sweet of you to make a Christmas treat when Mr Shoes asks for one. :-)

April J Harris said...

What a precious resource your Aunt's cookbook is! I love old recipes like this! Your Chocolate Crinkles look particularly good, Kathi - perfect for holiday celebrations. Thank you so much for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link party. Shared on the H&S Facebook page today. Hope you are having a lovely week!

Kathi said...

Thank you, April. It's a sweet memory of my aunt as well as a bit of family history and I'm so glad I have her notebook. Thank you for sharing!

Jan said...

What wonderful memories! I love them! Thanks for sharing on Celebrage365 Cookie Exchange

Lisa L said...

My Mom has made these and I always loved them. :) Thanks for sharing photos of your Aunt's cookie notebook! So wonderful that you treasure it!

I haven't made a single Christmas cookie this year...I over indulged at Thanksgiving and now I'm paying the price! lol, sigh