Honey Refrigerator Cookies Take You Back to 1942

Where I found the original recipe(s):
I received The Gourmet Cookie Book (The Single Best Recipe From Each Year 1941-2009) for Christmas.

More than just pages of intriguing recipes, this book offers a history lesson of sorts. Each recipe is one that was featured in Gourmet magazine over the years (and the cookbook, as the name implies, is a compilation of the best cookie recipes from each year).  The recipe for Honey Refrigerator Cookies – one that relied on honey instead of sugar, which was rationed due to the war – was the top pick for 1942.

What I thought:
I LOVE these!   And they were a big hit with my family.  Crunchy and subtly sweet, they are nonetheless dense, satisfying cookies.   Enjoy two or three with a glass of milk for a filling snack.

They are incredibly easy to mix up.

What I’d change:
The recipe simply specified “nut meats” as an ingredient, with the recipe notes suggesting coarsely chopped walnuts. I happened to have pecans on hand, so that’s what I used, and they were quite tasty.

I did not use sifted flour; instead, I whisked all the dry ingredients together.

And finally, the recipe indicated 10-12 minutes in a 400 degree oven; I believe my oven temperature is fairly accurate, and 10 minutes was too long. I decreased the time to 8 1/2 minutes, letting them rest on the baking pan 1-2 minutes before removing.

Honey Refrigerator Cookies:
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book
(Makes about 80 cookies)

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nut meats (I tried pecans)

Cream honey, brown sugar and shortening together. Beat in egg until blended. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nuts in separate bowl together to combine. Add dry ingredients gradually to creamed mixture and blend until dough forms.

Divide dough and shape into two rectangular logs; wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Slice dough about 1/4″ and bake about 8 1/2 minutes at 400 degrees.

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