Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Powdered Sugar "Finger" Cookies

The real name of this recipe is "Mrs. Borwell's Fingers." No offense to Mrs. Borwell, but that just sounded creepy. So I renamed these cookies, which are tasty little morsels that contain chopped walnuts and are rolled in powdered sugar while still warm.

I was inspired by this post at The Golden Needle blog. Golden Needle has been baking her way through the old recipes in her mother's recipe box. Isn't that the neatest idea?

My beautiful grandma Nana, who was an accomplished cook and indefatigable baker even into her 90s, gave me this stack of recipes a few years ago, before she passed away.

They belonged to her own beloved grandma (so that would be my great, great grandma), whose name was Hattie.
They just don't make names like Hattie anymore.
Apparently Nana was the family scribe, helping her mom organize recipes and taking down notes specific to their preparation. Many of the recipes are simply yellowed newspaper clippings, cut out and taped onto 3 x 5 cards with no personal notes added. I'm not as eager to try those as I am to try ones like "Mrs. Borwell's Fingers" -- creepy name aside -- recipes that have notes added in my grandma's own hand.
Though I've had these recipes for a few years now, this is the first one I've tried from this bunch. It was fun trying to decipher instructions like "blend over fire slowly" -- which I translated as "cook over low heat." The biggest puzzle was being told to take the batter and "spread in tins." Er, tins? What kind of tins? I decided an 8 x 8-inch greased baking pan would do nicely.
Which it did.

1/4 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1 t. vanilla
powdered sugar
In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar and blend over low heat until well-mixed (a couple of minutes). Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Add egg and beat well. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt, nuts, and vanilla. Spread batter in greased 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. While hot, cut into strips. Let cool for a couple minutes for easier handling. While still warm, roll in powdered sugar ("if so wish," instructs Nana. I wish).
Thank you for the inspiration to pull out these recipes, Golden Needle. Anyone else want to join in the fun of trying out some old family recipes? We could do an Heirloom in Autumn recipe challenge. Anyone?



Blogger Lori said...

Girl, you always leave me laughing! But I definitely agree with you...I'd have a hard time eating Mrs. Borwell's "fingers" too. LOL! Glad you changed the name.
That is so great that your grandmother gave you those recipes!!! I have just one recipe written in my grandmother's handwriting and it is an absolute treasure to me!! Priceless! :)

September 16, 2009 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet comments! Come by and visit often!

September 16, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger everydayMOM said...

Yum! Those sound awesome!

September 16, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a lot of old recipe books but they call for a lot of terms and ingredients I don't even use any more. I think these would be good.

September 16, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

I absolutely LOVE these kinds of recipes, family heirlooms!

Such a charming and delightful recipe. I'm adding this to my treasured stash of beloved family recipes!

September 16, 2009 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Okay, Lynn, darling, I thank you for stopping by MY blog. I'd love to join your Heirloom Autumn recipe challenge with one from my grandma. We have rules at our house though: no white sugar, no white flour, no brown sugar, and other boring ones that make following Grama Boothby's recipes somewhat difficult. She used to have a recipe for oatmeal raison cookies where you soaked the raisons first. Do you have that one?

I'm going with my daughter-in-law to see Julia/Julie next week when if finally comes to our tiny mountain town. (I've already seen it in the big city as I visited my daughter). We'll wear our pearls too! Come again!

September 16, 2009 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Cat, I don't have the oatmeal-raisin cookie recipe you mention but would love to hear more. Do you make it without sugar or flour? Yikes, that sounds challenging. But maybe when you wear your pearls, all recipes just somehow turn out ok :)

September 16, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger gigikingwoodkitchen said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm sorry for the delay in my response but I've had my hands full this past week. Wow, look at all those wonderful treats. I absolutely love your blog. I hope you swing by and visit me again. I'll be stopping by yours soon....

September 16, 2009 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Rachel R. said...

Alas, I have no heirloom family recipes - at least, not apart from those few that have been handed down because we make them regularly. (I have a great-aunt who is a fantastic - and prolific - baker, but she doesn't have her recipes written down, and we don't live near enough to experience them with her. :( )

Thanks for stopping by my site! I appreciate your profile description, too. I can handle most individual homemaking tasks, but juggling them effectively still eludes me. And I think I must be just about the world's worst parent. I definitely feel "not cut out for this," and my constant ineptitude is so frustrating that I really don't like this job (of homemaker and stay-at-home-mom). And yet, I'm still committed to it. Maybe someday I'll get good enough at it to take pleasure in a job well done.

September 17, 2009 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Flat Creek Farm said...

The second post I've read today on old family recipes. It's a sign! A sign I need to pull out the ol' recipes! The Challenge is a great idea. Hmmm, where are those old recipe cards?? -Tammy p.s. those finger cookies sound wonderful... yum.

September 17, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger teresa said...

family recipes are the best! these look so good!

September 17, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Faith said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful family recipe! These look incredible, but I agree with you about the name! ;)

September 17, 2009 at 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Mrs. Borwell's fingers sound tasty! :)

September 17, 2009 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I love the idea that golden needle is cooking her way through this recipes. What a fun thing to decipher things like "cook over a fire". Wow! They looks delicious and I'm glad you renamed them too. There is no telling who they were really named after : D

September 18, 2009 at 3:57 AM  
Blogger DarcyLee said...

What a wonderful legacy you've been given with all those old recipes! I have a few recipes from my grandma and her old cookbook. Have a great weekend.

September 18, 2009 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger Jhonny walker said...

I like the idea..but seems like I am already in before even reading. My latest post was on such an heirloom recipe. Infact I had a picture of my grandmom up--but decided to take it she might be a bit offended. And she reads my blogs :)

September 18, 2009 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Ingrid_3Bs said...

How cool! My grandma didn't write anything down so all her recipes will gone soon.

September 18, 2009 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Libby@CookingWithLibby said...

How awesome and neat is that?? I would love to join in on the fun but I don't have access to any of my grandma's or my great grandma's recipes :( But if I did though, this would be something I could seriously blog about :) Love that you changed the name of the this recipe too :)

September 21, 2009 at 6:42 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home