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Jul 10, 2010 08:58 PM

Searching for cookie recipe from late 1970's Joy of Cooking cookbook

My mother had a paperback edition in the late 1970's and every now and then I think of a cookie she made that I loved and would like to make again, but I haven't seen it in newer editions. Unfortunately I also don't know what it was called, but can describe it. I was hoping someone here might have the recipe in their copy and be willing to share it?

It was a jam filled cookie. Rolled out what was probably a basic butter sugar dough, Cut out circles of dough, put a little jam or marmalade on them, fold over so it forms a half circle, pinch the edges closed with a fork, sprinkle top with a little sugar and bake.

Anyone know this cookie? Thanks!

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  1. sounds like a mezzaluna cookie. this isn't a JOC recipe, but maybe it will be close enough for you:

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Thank you goodhealthgourmet. It wasn't called mezzaluna, but it looks similar and will try it if I can't unearth the original. Appreciate it!

    2. In my Joy of cooking second edition there are recipes for roll cookies, rich rolled cookies and butter thins. They can be folded and filled with jam. Can you recall which roll cookie recipe your mother used. I have the Joy of Cooking paperback from 1970.

      1. I've got the 10th printing from '78. In it Rombauber describes a process using any one of several rolled cookie recipes. Any idea which you mom may have used? She suggests Roll Cookies, Vanilla Refrigerator Cookies, Sand Tarts, or Yolk Letter Cookies. These vary primarily by the amount of egg and whether or not there is leavening in the dough.

        If you want a recipe or two to try, let me know.

        As for the process for making the filled cookie, Rombauer doesn't supply much more info than you did. Roll the dough. Cut rounds (she doesn't specify a size). Put "less than a tablespoon" of filling in each. Seal firmly with a floured fork. She doesn't give any baking times or suggestions. I guess that would follow for the directions for whichever of the basic rolling doughs chosen.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rainey

          Classylady and Rainey thank you so much for investigating! My mom was not a baker so these cookies had to have come from a specific named recipe that included time and temp instructions. I remember the process and basic ingredients, but not the name or if it included eggs. However I do know that it was not called a sand tart, York letter cookie or refrigerator cookie. Darn it if I had the book I could probably locate it since I helped make them many times, but alas. Is there a section on filled cookies?

          Also Goodhealthgourmet's mezzaluna recipe may be similar and that one doesn't include eggs except for the eggwash on top. I don't recall if the Joy of Cooking had an eggwash, but it definitely was not named mezzaluna and there were no nuts in the recipe. I hope these details help. Thanks!

          1. re: Island

            Well, Rombauer does direct the reader to specific recipes with more specific directions for the basic cookie and then provides the sketchy add-on directions for filling them.

            Here's the Roll Cookies recipes and the Vanilla Refrigerator Cookie recipes so you can compare:

            Roll Cookies

            * 1/2 cup white or brown sugar
            • 1/2 cup butter
            Beat in:
            • 1 teaspoon vanilla
            • 2 eggs
            • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
            • 2 tsp. baking powder
            • 1/2 tsp salt

            She says the dough needs to be chilled for 3-4 hours. Then roll and cut. She suggests using a pastry cloth and roller cover to avoid any excess flour for rolling. Bake in a 375˚ oven on a greased cookie sheet. Baking time is 7-12 minutes but I'm sure adding a filling and a second layer would change that so the lightly browned cue would probably apply but you'll remember the appearance of your mom's cookies to be guided by.


            Vanilla Refrigerator Cookies

            Beat until soft:
            • 1/2 cup butter
            Add gradually:
            • 1 cup sifted sugar
            Mix in:
            • 1 beaten egg
            • 1 tsp vanilla
            • 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind or cinnamon (optional)
            Sift before measuring:
            • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
            Sift again with:
            • 1/4 tsp salt
            * 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
            Stir it all together. Up to 1/2 cup of nuts may be added. Chill and form. Sprinkle with sugar before baking. She says these can be baked as drop cookies right after mixing but the refrigerator method is to roll the soft dough into 2" diameter logs wrapped securely in aluminum foil* and chill for 12-24 hours before baking. She says the chilled dough is sliced "very thinly". Baking temp is 400˚. Time: 8-10 min.

            * Personally I don't like aluminum foil next to my cookie dough. I wrap in plastic and, if I want longer term storage like in the freezer, I wrap that in foil.

            1. re: Island

              In answer to your question on filled cookies, yes, Rombauer has a section on filled cookies. What it is is a couple recipes that are clearly not what you're describing and then the listing of the recipes I provided before followed by the very general directions to fill them with recipes for Raisin, Fig or Date Filling; Apricot-Orange Filling or Coconut Cookie Filling that don't sound like what you're looking for. BUT, jam would make a good substitute for any of those and does seem to fit the profile of the cookies you're looking for.

              If you care to e-mail me you snail mail addie I could copy out a few pages including the section on Filled Cookies and the various recipes she suggests the baker choose from. My e-mail addie is (where the first character is a lower case L).

          2. My mom made these, too! I know she used the Sand Tarts recipe; then you just put a dollop of jam on a cut-out round; fold it over, and seal the edges with the tines of a fork. I do recall them suggesting several different cookie recipes that could be used, and I imagine it will taste pretty much like your mom's with any of them. The Sand Tarts recipe is a bit more lemony.

            Just checked my book -- I have an edition from 1972; this recipe is listed under the section entitled "About Filled Cookies and Filled Bars." The cookie recipes suggested are as Rainey mentioned, with the addition of two others: Rich Rolled Cookies and Butter Thins. If either of those sound correct let me know.

            4 Replies
            1. re: visciole

              Wow thank you all for being so generous. I so appreciate the time and effort you've put in my nostalgic whim. Sounds like you've scoured those sections and if nothing specifically says fill with jam, fold, crimp and sprinkle with sugar then maybe you're on to something with the rolled cookies.

              For the butter thins and rich rolled I got a hit for 1 when I Googled "Joy of Cooking Rich Rolled Cookies". This recipe came up:

              Is that the same as what you found in your cookbooks and if so does it give any specific alterations in time or temp if adding jam?

              Thanks again!

              1. re: Island

                Close. I can't say why the increments have been slightly changed. Or which is preferable. But here is what the '78 JOC says

                Rich Roll Cookies

                • 1 cup butter
                • 2/3 cup sugar
                Beat in:
                • 1 egg
                • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
                Combine and add:
                • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
                • 1/2 tsp salt
                • 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind, or 1 tbs cinnamon, or 2 tbs poppy seeds (optional)

                Chill 3-4 hrs. Roll & cut using pastry cloth and rolling pin cover. Baking temp: 350˚. Time: 8-10 min.


                While I'm at it here are the Sand Tarts.

                Sand Tarts

                Beat until soft:
                • 3/4 cup butter
                Add gradually and blend until creamy:
                • 1 1/4 cups sifted white sugar (when was the last time you had to sift granulated sugar?) OR 1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
                Beat in:
                • 1 egg
                • 1 egg yolk
                • 1 tsp vanilla
                • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
                Sift before measuring:
                • 3 cups all-purpose flour
                Resift with:
                • 1/4 tsp salt

                She says this is a stiff dough and you may need to knead in the last of the flour. Chill several hours before rolling "very thin". Greased cookie sheet. Brush tops of formed cookies with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Temp: 400˚. Time: 8 min.

                1. re: Island

                  It does specifically say to do those things... it just tells you the technique and then gives you a choice of doughs to use. There's even an illustration. The recipe in my volume is just like Rainey's, but no lemon zest.

                  I think whichever recipe you use it will achieve very similar results as your mom's. Cookie recipes are forgiving.

                  If you want, you could try eBay to score a "JOC" volume from the 70s. Shouldn't be too hard to find!

                  1. re: visciole

                    Thanks guys. My friend is making plum jam this weekend from the a tree in her back yard. She gives me a bunch every year and I'm always at a loss of what to do with it all. Then I remembered this recipe. Thanks for setting me up everyone!