After five decades of service, my mom’s 1957 Sunbeam Mixmaster stand mixer mixed its last batch of cookies. We reluctantly bid it adieu and sent it off to the appliance graveyard but not before taking some final photos and reminiscing. What fond memories we have of that mixer. Year in and year out, we kids gathered around it as Mom whipped up Christmas cookies and birthday cakes. We were always there on standby to grab hold of the beaters to lick them clean. And, boy, that thing was built to last. It was heavy and very reliable (obviously). And I loved how the dial was labelled. Selecting the right speed was a “no brainer.” The new Sunbeam Mixmaster is nice–but far from the quality of yesteryear. Lots of plastic. And the dial is just a bunch of numbers, so referring to the manual is essential at least until you get the swing of things. I definitely don’t see this one making it to 2069! (Of course, I’m not likely to either, but still…)
So, in honor of the late 1957 mixer, I am providing a recipe here for our all-time favorite (and supremely easy) Christmas cookie recipe. It belonged to my grandmother Fannie B. (Woodruff) Brodhead. Very light and airy, these cookies melt in your mouth and leave you coming back for more. So far, I have probably downed at least 500 of these myself. So, enjoy! Feedback always welcome.
Ice Cream Patties
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg well-beaten
1/8 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup walnuts/candied cherries (cut into quarters/eighths)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream shortening and sugar thoroughly. Blend in egg and vanilla. Mix flour and salt together and add to the creamed mixture, blending well. Measure small spoonfuls of batter (1/2 tsp) onto well-greased baking sheets. (If you use parchment paper, they don’t spread out as much and the edges are more widely browned). Place a piece of walnut/candied cherry in middle of each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned (as early as 6 minutes, especially if you are at a low altitude). Yield: 4-5 dozen patties.