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5 Favorite Sweet Recipes from my Grandmother's Journal

Updated on January 3, 2017

Photo of the old journal containing recipes

Treasured Old Timey Sweet Recipes from my Grandma's Past
Treasured Old Timey Sweet Recipes from my Grandma's Past | Source

Old Recipes

Here are five more "old timey" sweet recipes from my grandmother's journal. This hub is specifically being written for those of you who answered the poll in the last hub requesting additional recipes.

Now...I cannot promise any least for a while. Although we are sharing the baked goods with friends and neighbors, we have to taste these recipes in order to aptly describe them for you, the readers.

Not sure just how much longer our waistlines will remain at the same circumference by doing this for you!

Does this sound as though we are sacrificing ourselves to this cause?

You can be the judge! ( Smile )

3 of My Great Aunts + Cookies

3 sisters - my great aunts (left to right) Annie, Alvina and Selma who was my great grandmother
3 sisters - my great aunts (left to right) Annie, Alvina and Selma who was my great grandmother | Source
Aunt Alvina's Cookies
Aunt Alvina's Cookies | Source

Aunt Alvina's Cookies ~ especially good for Christmas!


1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

1 cup pecans (chopped)

1 cup dates (pitted and chopped)

1/2 cup brandy or wine ( I used brandy )

3 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 to 3 cups of flour so you can drop from spoon. Must not run when baking...if so use more flour. ( I used 3 cups )

There were no directions with this old timey recipe, so this is how I proceeded...

Cream the butter with the sugar. Next add the eggs and blend. Continue to add the wet and dry ingredients and after well combined, drop a rounded teaspoon full of the batter onto a greased cookie sheet. I baked the cookies for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and when done (nicely browned on the bottom) transferred to a rack to cool.

These are soft cookies. The unbaked dough even had a frosting-like consistency.

These made about 5 dozen cookies and they are delicious! They win our taste test vote and we will be repeating this recipe in the future.

My grandmother + spice squares

My grandmother who created this old journal of recipes
My grandmother who created this old journal of recipes | Source
Spice Squares
Spice Squares | Source

Spice Squares

Sift together

1 1/2 cups of sifted enriched flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves


1/2 cup shortening with

3/4 cup brown sugar until light and fluffy


1 egg yolk and

1/2 teaspoon vanilla and beat together well.


Flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternating with

3/4 cup of sour milk or buttermilk. ( I used buttermilk )

Spread into greased 7 by 11 inch pan.


Beat 1 egg white until stiff and add 1/4 cup of brown sugar gradually and mix well. Spread onto batter. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped nuts . ( I used pecans )


375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes. When cool, cut into bars. Yields about 22 bars, 1 by 3 inch.

This is a cake in reality and could be sliced any way one wishes to present it. I was expecting it to be more of a cookie consistency for some reason...I guess because of the directions which said to slice it into bars. It is tasty! No name was attached to this recipe in my grandmother's old journal but the directions were carefully hand-written.

Cookies + grandmother photo

Hickory Nut Jems
Hickory Nut Jems | Source
Another picture of my Grandmother and dog, Tuffy
Another picture of my Grandmother and dog, Tuffy | Source

Hickory Nut Jems


1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cup flour, not sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts

Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Many of you bakers know to cream the butter and sugar together and then add the sour cream and egg and vanilla before adding the dry ingredients, but for those that might not know...I thought that I would add this bit of information.

It is interesting that these were called Hickory Nut Jems. Undoubtedly hickory nuts were used in this recipe, perhaps from someone's own trees. I substituted chopped pecans as hickory nuts are not a commonly found ingredient in our grocery stores. Probably any kind of chopped nut would work. To our taste these soft cookies tasted much like a butter cookie with added nuts...which makes sense, given the ingredients. There was no name attached to this recipe.

Great-grandmother photo

My maternal great-grandmother
My maternal great-grandmother | Source

Cookies called Rocks

Rocks | Source


This cookie recipe was labeled "Mother" meaning that it was from my great-grandmother who had died when my grandmother and her siblings were quite young. When my grandmother hand wrote these recipes into her journal, I am sure that each and every one from her mother had special meaning.


1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup butter

3 eggs

1 cup walnut meats (chopped)

1 1/2 cups chopped raisins

3 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking soda dissolved in a little boiling water

3 cups flour

As per other recipes in this old journal there were no further instructions except to "Drop on buttered tins." I creamed the softened butter with the sugar, added the eggs mixing well and then added the cinnamon, baking soda and flour. At this point the batter becomes pretty stiff so I manually mixed the nuts and raisins into it stirring until combined.

What worked for me was to drop the batter by rounded teaspoon onto greased baking sheet and in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven the cookies were finished baking in 9 minutes. Anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes should work...just watch that first tin carefully to determine the best timing for your oven.

Anyone liking cinnamon is sure to really like these cookies. The batter is dark because of so much cinnamon being added. ~ I am speculating that any number of spice combinations might also work. Perhaps a little cinnamon combined with some ginger or allspice would also work? Worth experimenting!

These Rocks are very good! What a unique name for a cookie!

Makes about 5 dozen.

Oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal Cookies | Source

My Grandmother

My maternal grandmother as a young lady.
My maternal grandmother as a young lady. | Source

Oatmeal Cookies


3/4 cup shortening soft

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups Quaker oats


Place shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla in bowl and beat. Then add dry ingredients and mix. Blend in oats. Drop by teaspoon on greased (baking) sheet and bake 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. For variation add chopped nuts, chocolate chips or coconut.

I added chopped nuts and baked these cookies for 15 minutes. Of course it all depends upon each person's oven so what worked for me...may or may not for you. These are thin and crisp cookies which freeze well.

My grandfather

My Grandfather long before I was born
My Grandfather long before I was born | Source

Where my grandparents lived...Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A markerMilwaukee, Wisconsin -
Milwaukee, WI, USA
get directions

Oatmeal Cookies

This Oatmeal Cookie recipe may well be the most interesting recipe because of what it was written upon!

I have no idea how old this recipe is but perhaps there are some doctors still alive who would remember the days when notes regarding a patient were taken on a piece of paper measuring approximately 5 1/4 by 8 1/4 inches?

This Examination Blank had room at the top for the Name, Street, City, Phone and Referred by. The History and Remarks had only 10 lines on this small page for notes on a patients condition. Of course more could probably have been written on the blank back of this page. Still...this is laughable compared to the pages and pages of information that a prospective patient has to fill out before ever seeing a doctor in this day and age.

This loose sheet was kept with the other bound pages inside of my grandmother's recipe journal.

My grandfather had managed what was (at the time) the tallest commercial building in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin many years ago among other things. Many of the occupants were doctors and dentists and my grandfather often had lunch with them on different occasions. Did he taste these oatmeal cookies and ask for the recipe? Is that why it was written on this old time Examination Blank? There is no one left alive to answer that question so this is mere speculation.

Still...finding this recipe on this examination blank in my grandmother's old timey journal certainly places a date going back many years and several generations ago. I thought that readers might find some humor in this as did I upon discovering it. the way...the oatmeal cookies are good!

Old doctor's examination blank used for cookie recipe

Here is a photo of that Examination Blank used for a recipe
Here is a photo of that Examination Blank used for a recipe | Source

From recipes called Rocks to recipes written on doctor's Examination is hoping that you enjoyed reading about and viewing these additional old timey sweet recipes from my Grandmother's well worn journal.

Which of these recipes do you think that you would wish to make?

See results

Like this hub? Be sure and read this one...

Contains more recipes from this same old journal.

To have access to a full library of articles written by Peggy Woods on various subjects, CLICK HERE.

5 stars from 3 ratings of More Old Timey Sweet Recipes from Grandma's Journal

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Cyndi10,

      I do most of my baking also during the Christmas season to give as gifts. Hope you enjoy the recipes. :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      Thanks for sharing this with others. I do realize just how special it is to have these old time recipes that have been handed down in the family.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 15 months ago from Georgia

      What a wonderful way to present recipes. I love the recipes paired with the pictures of your grandparents. I'm not a cookie maker except at Christmas, when I bake a lot of them. I'll try the oatmeal and the Christmas cookie then.

      Take care.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      Came back to share this awesome article! Pinned it to Awesome HubPages and will share with my followers. You are so lucky to have these recipes that were handed down in your family. Truly treasures and we are so lucky you are sharing them with all of us.

      Hope all is well at your house. Take care . . .

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi peachpurple,

      I just Googled substitutes for sour cream and there are quite a few things that you can use. Take a look! I read down the page where more things worked as substitutes besides yogurt. Maybe you will have some of them available.

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