Seven Days of 60s Food: Butter Crispies

Those heady of 60s food posts are over…except, well, they’re not. Today, we have my favorite Christmas cookies: butter crispies. This is a recipe given to me by my grandmother, and it’s sure to put a retro twist on your holiday baking.

plate of cookies, cocktail, and Christmas tree

Butter Crispies

1 ½ cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

¾ cup pecans, finely chopped

16-18 glace (or candied) cherries, cut in half

Sift the flour, baking power, and salt. Thoroughly cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg yolks and vanilla at low speed. Add the dry ingredients until just mixed. Form dough into a ball, cover, and chill for several hours until firm.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line your cookie sheets with either silicon baking mats or parchment paper. Mix the pecans and cinnamon in a low, wide bowl and set aside. Form dough into 1-inch balls with your hands and then roll through the cinnamon-pecan mixture. Press down a bit so they’re well coated. Flatten the cookies on the baking sheet with half a glace cherry; space the cookies well as they spread during baking.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until set. Allow to cool ~5 minutes before removing from the pan. Yields 2.5 to 3 dozen.


I’m a competent home cook and nothing more. The vast majority of the cookies I make are the “drop from a spoon on to the cookie sheet” variety. But these are worth a little more mess and fuss.

Here’s what they look like assembled but pre-baked.

unbaked cookies on sheet

And here’s the same pan just out of the oven.

baked cookies, now considerably spread out

I love that they make your house smell like toasted pecans and cinnamon and how the cloying sweetness of the candied cherries is nicely muted by the cookie.

I plated them alongside a tart cherry cocktail. I started with this recipe from Serious Eats, though I prefer a ratio of 3 ounces of vodka, 2 ounces of tart cherry juice, 1 ounce of Cointreau, and 1/2 ounce of lime juice.

But whatever you serve them with, these straight out of the mid-century cookies are delightfully festive. I’m certain that Anne-Marie, Frances, Margie, and Betty (from the Fly Me to the Moon series) would love them.

(As an aside, the ladies of Lake Glade would also love this incredible Bombe Alaska that Elisabeth Lane from Cooking Up Romance made. I’m going to gird my loins and try it for Christmas.)

I hope your holidays are merry and bright–and don’t forget to pick up a free copy of A Midnight Clear if you haven’t already.

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