Traditional Christmas Gifts: Home Made Candy/Cookie Recipes (1884)


The children can hardly be convinced that Christmas is Christmas unless they are treated to candies. Yet a judicious mother, knowing how candy nowadays is adulterated with terra alba (white earth) and other indigestible materials, and that the beautiful colors which are so attractive to the eye are unhealthy if not absolutely poisonous, will hesitate about encouraging its very free consumption.

Children love sweets, and when pure, candy is not unwholesome but supplies a craving of growth. Wc know a lady who purchases cut-loaf sugar instead of candy for her children, and as much as possible discourages them from buying candy by recommending dates, figs and raisins as a treat.

The Household Editor admits the possession of a “sweet tooth,” but finds the adulterated stuff sold by our confectioners produces headache and nausea. We therefore recommend that the mothers or elder sisters expend the money intended for candy in sugar, and make their own confections.

Somewhere we have read of an old lady whose ingenuity was sufficient to “make seven kinds of cake out of one dough.” This process seems duplicated in the following, which we clip j from the Kansas Farmer, and commend as a good guide:

“Whites of two eggs placed in a tumbler; measure with (?)linger how high it comes up in the glass, pour out in a large bowl, pour in the tumbler as much water as will equal the amount of egg, mix them and beat well; add a dessert spoonful of vanilla, and about two pounds of confectioner’s sugar, if you can get it (it has the appearance of flour) or powdered sugar well hsfted; beat well and the foundation of candy is ready. Take half a pound of dates, remove stones, put in a piece of candy dough, roll each in grauu laled sugar.

Split one-half pound of tfgs, and place a layer of dough on a board, sprinkle well with powdered sugar to prevent its adhering, and then a layer of figs, again a layer of dough, cut in squares and that kind is ready. Nuts of any kind can be made u;j into the candy; put almonds inside aud then roll in coarse sugar. Set each out in a cool place to harden. For chocolate creams, roll any amount of balls from the dough, and when they are burdened dip with a fork into the chocolate melted on the stove; be careful not to allow it to boil; use Baker’s chocolate. Cocoa nut can, be made by rolling out another portion of the dough on the board, sprinkle coconut over it and roll a few times with a roller, then cut it into  squares.

A mixture of coconut and particles of nuts chopped fine makes a very delicious candy. The English walnut makes a handsome addition if you are to give boxes of this candy as presents to friends. Split the walnuts, shape some of the dough into round, flat balls, and place a halt on each side, press firmly. This candy is now being made in society circles a good deal, As there is no cooking to be done and is very easy and clean work.  A. dollar’s worth of all the ingredients will make many pounds of candy.”

Source: Michigan farmer and State journal, Household Supplement, 1884


Index: Historic Christmas Recipes

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