Old Recipes DI

Desserts from Holidays Past

December 20, 2011 | by Rebekah K. Murray

Twenty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, America published its first cookbook, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons.

“The book contains some of the earliest recipes ever printed for using corn and many other foods uniquely indigenous to the New World: potatoes, pumpkins, many squashes and beans, turkey, cranberries,” says Janice Longone, a U-M curator of American culinary history.  

Unearthed from U-M’s Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive are two recipes from American Cookery: a Christmas cookie and a cranberry tart. Note the “Chriftmas Cookey” was finer, softer, and better when six months old.

Directions for a “Chriftmas Cookey”:

Two-part instructions for making a cranberry tart.

Directions for cooking the “cramberries”:

How to make the tart dough (original recipe was split across two pages):

For a more modern holiday treat, LSA alumna and chef Sara Moulton (’81) offers her grandmother’s recipe for baking spice balls.  

Share your favorite holiday treats in the comment section below, and look for more on Sara Moulton and other LSA chefs in the spring issue of LSA Magazine.

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