Growing up, one of the things I always looked forward to was Dad’s Holiday Baking. The man would begin baking cookies in mid October, and keep them frozen until Thanksgiving. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, we had more cookies than you could imagine. Cookies and fudge and pies and all sorts of holiday delights.
My all-time favorite had to be his Chocolate Pinwheels. What recipes my parents didn’t learn from family, they got from The Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. I don’t know how this book came into their possession, all I know is that the pages are worn and tattered and filled with all sorts of notes only my Dad could understand.
The Woman’s Home Companion began as an American monthly magazine, published from 1873 to 1957. The magazine climbed to its peak during the 1930s and 1940s. So great was the demand for tested recipes and helpful hints that the magazine published an actual hard-bounded cook book in 1942, with the last book published in 1947. It was the cook book in our house, as it was in many American homes. Within its pages were all sorts of things like how to properly set a table to nutrition and meal planning. These tools were especially useful during World War II, when the men went off to fight and the woman manned the factory lines.
My sisters and I had all laid claim to Dad’s copy. That was until about ten years ago, when Hubby found a 1946 copy at a Flea Market and gave it to me for Mother’s Day. While I would still love to have Dad’s notes, over the years I have made a few notes of my own, creating my own special memories within the pages of this treasured book.
Old Fashion Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies
2 oz Unsweetened Chocolate, melted and cooled
4 cups Flour, sifted
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Butter, soft
3/4 cup Shortening
1 cup Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Sugar
2 Eggs, well Beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool. While the chocolate cools, make the cookie dough.
Sift the flour, then measure 4 cups and place in a mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift again. Set aside.
Cream butter and shortening together. Add sugars gradually and continue to beat until light.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs well. Add beaten eggs to the creamed sugars, then bean in the vanilla.
Combine the dry ingredients with the creamed mixture, blend thoroughly.
Divide the dough into two parts. Work the cooled chocolate into one half of the dough until completely worked in. Leave the other half plain.
Roll each half of the dough out as thin as possible to about the same rectangular size. Place one rectangle on top of the other and roll jelly-roll fashion. Cover tightly and chill overnight.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from the refrigerator, cut into thin slices with a sharp knife and place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in the hot oven 5 to 8 minutes. Let baked cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a rack to cool.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies.