Throwback Thursday: Retro holiday recipes from 1974

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      The gifting trends and decorations of the holidays may have changed since 1974, but the recipes that your grandmother perfected will never go out of style.

      In my quest for something in tune with the season this week, the Straight's December 12, 1974 issue provided some delicious recipes perfectly suited for a weekend that calls for non-stop rain, holiday baking, and the overplaying of Bing Crosby's Christmas album. 

      Dyan Rolko's "You are what you eat" column laid out not one or two but seven recipes for sweet treats that are sure to bring you back to a simpler time, before sugar and gluten became the enemy.

      "Now that the Christmas season is literally upon us, it is time to bring out the goodies. It's the one period of the year when cheating on diets is condoned, when you can stifle the feeling of guilt as you stuff yourself with sweet and rich food. I mean, you have all next year to lose that weight again. So, the following recipes are both rich and sweet; perfect to use as gifts or treats for visiting friends. Or for eating yourself..."

      Here are three picks to satisfy your sweet tooth over the holidays. Enlarge the image above to check out the other four recipes: Super Carrot Cake, Cherry Bars, Maple Syrup Cake, or Fruit Flan.


      Coconut Shortbread 

      1 cup (250 mL) butter (room temperature)
      ½ cup (125 mL) raw sugar
      2 cups (500 mL) unbleached flour
      1 tsp vanilla
      1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut

      1. Cream butter and sugar together very well. Add rest of ingredients and work in with spoon or fingers. (Add less flour if too stiff).
      2. Roll into balls and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
      3. Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
      4. On an ungreased pan, flatten the balls out with a fork, and then bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

      Yield: 3 dozen pieces. 


      Apple Oatmeal Cookies

      ½ cup (125 mL) butter
      1 cup (250 mL) raw brown sugar
      2 eggs, beaten
      1 ¾ cups (435 mL) whole wheat flour
      ½ cup (125 mL) rolled oats
      ½ tsp cinnamon
      2 tsp baking powder
      1 cup (250 mL) raisins
      1 cup (250 mL) walnuts, chopped
      1 ½ cups finely chopped and peeled apples

      1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
      2. Cream butter and sugar well. Beat in eggs. 
      3. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter, sugar, and eggs, mixing in will. 
      4. Fold in fruit and nuts until blended.
      5. Drop by teaspoon onto a greased pan and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until brown. Cool on rack.

      Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies. 



      ½ lb (227 g) almond paste 
      ⅓ cup (90 mL) unbeaten egg whites
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      ½ to ¾ cup (125 to 185 mL) raw sugar, depending on preference
      Carob powder to taste (optional)

      1. Preheat oven to 300 °F (150 °C) 
      2. Force past through a seive and mix with egg white. Then blend in vanilla and sugar until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape. 
      3. Drop by tablespoon onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
      4. Flatten the tops with a fork and sprinkle carob powder if desired.
      5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. 

      Yield: 3 dozen.

      Recipes have not been tested by the Georgia Straight.