Retro Candy

When Dolores posted the Retro Recipe Challenge for October, I knew immediately what I was going to make.

I’m not exactly sure who initiated the fantasy of the stay at home mom just sitting around eating bonbons and watching soaps all day, but he didn’t quite get it right. At least, it’s not how my day goes and I have yet to meet another mom who would describe her day that way. Maybe I just move in the wrong circles.

My entry comes from the 1963 Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, which has a section in the back of favorite cookies by time period. In the 1955 – 1960 section is the recipe for Bonbon cookies. It says:

Candy-like cookies in vogue — Women were fascinated by these beautiful and delicious cookies which were baked as cookies, served and eaten as candies. Excitement over Bonbons brought more candy-cookies, Toffee Squares and Cream Filberts, for example.

Bonbon Cookies

1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla (3 tsp)
food coloring, if desired
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt

fillings: candied or maraschino cherries, pitted dates, nuts, or chocolate pieces
Bonbon Icing (below)
toppings: chopped nuts, coconut, colored sugar

Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, and food coloring. Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. Blend flour and salt in thoroughly with hand. If dough is dry, add 1 to 2 tbsp. cream.

Heat oven to 350 F. For each cooky, wrap 1 level tablespoonful dough around a filling suggested above. Bake 1″ apart on ungreased baking sheet 12 to 15 min or until set but not brown. Cool; dip tops of cookies in Icing. Decorate each cooky with one of the toppings suggested above. Makes about 24 cookies.

Bonbon Icing:
Mix 1 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar, 2 1/2 tbsp. cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, and red, green, or yellow food coloring, if desired.

Chocolate Bonbon Icing:
Make Bonbon Icing except add 1 sq. unsweetened chocolate (1 oz.), melted, and use 3 tbsp. cream.

Chocolate Bonbons:
Make Bonbon Cookies except blend in 1 sq. unsweetened chocolate (1 oz.), melted.

Penuche Bonbons:
Make Bonbon Cookies except use 1/2 c. brown sugar (packed) in place of confectioner’s sugar.

I updated mine slightly by using three different fillings: Ghirardelli chocolate, dried cherries rather than candied, and pistachios.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to let Alice take care of the house while I take my plate of bonbons into the living room and sit on the sofa with my feet propped up and watch some soaps, or read my Ladies Home Journal. šŸ˜‰

10 Responses

  1. You are entitled to a few bonbons. After Tuesday next week I can come over and be Alice while you relax.

  2. These are so good, I especially like the pink ones with chocolate in the middle. Thanks again!

  3. Oh my God, those are fantastic! A perfect recipe for the RRC.

  4. Crystal: You know I can’t let you be Alice. But I’d share bonbons with you . . . if there were any left. šŸ˜‰

    Lori: Glad you enjoyed them.

    Laura: Thanks. I’m so glad you started this event!

  5. I’m with Laura Rebecca… these are a perfect contribution to RRC9 and look like a wonderful treat. Every mom deserves a bonbon day!

  6. Those are just adorable! I don’t think you’d fit into your tiny 1963 housewife outfit anymore if you ate a whole palte though…

  7. I meant plate – sorry!

  8. These have got to be the most darling cookies ever. And I love the color scheme!

    The prose of Betty Crocker Cookbooks just cries out for stylistic analysis, doesn’t it? We’ve got my mom’s ancient old red-covered three-ring-binder Betty Crocker Cookbook, and the section and recipe intros are all written in that weird, breathless, inverted tone . . . like the air in the marvelous test kitchens was just a little bit thin.

  9. Dolores: You deserve a bonbon day for hosting! šŸ˜‰

    Naomi: I never did fit in a 1963 housewife outfit — on so many levels!

    Melynda: Thanks. Those General Mills writers worked hard to make it all sound exciting and exotic. Actually, I think most cookbooks and cooking magazines still work hard to make meals and entertaining sound interesting and fun, while most people I talk to see it as hard work!

    I love looking at the pictures of the test kitchens over the years. They were outfitted with the best equipment and always very up-to-date with the fashionable colors of the 60s and 70s. The plating of the food mirrored the funky colors and styles of the times.

  10. My mom made these cookies every year at Christmas and they are a family much that my niece had them at her wedding reception last December. It’s good to know that someone else is enjoying them too!
    Boxcar Children

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