Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cinnamon Logs

Last week there were seven estate sales, which is a big number for this area.  I didn't find many things, but I did nab this 1952 cookbook at one of the sales:

A quick internet search tells me that "Prudence Penny" was a recipe request column for Hearst newspapers.  I always enjoy storing a new bit of trivia in my brain.  I just wish I could remember the name of someone I met five minutes ago as easily as I remember the useless information!

The book seems to be composed of several of the old Culinary Arts Institute regional cookbooks, plus sections for "General Auxiliary Recipes" and the "Cosmopolitan America Cook Book."  The Cosmopolitan section is only fourteen pages long, so apparently not many regions were considered cosmopolitan back in the day.

I am so going to have to make oliebollen sometime!
The estate sale companies don't divulge much information about the estate owner, but I noticed that several of the cookbooks were written in Japanese.  I know this only because one of them  had both Japanese and English versions of each recipe and stated that the other language was Japanese.  I had to wonder how the cook ended up in our smallish Texas town.  I'm sure that is an interesting story.

Okay, on to the actual cooking...

The last time I posted about Cookies by Bess, a grandchild of Bess Hoffman was kind enough to comment on my blog and to suggest that I try the Cinnamon Logs recipe. I wanted to try them immediately, but I accidentally misplaced the book for a few months.  It somehow ended up mixed in with the gardening books and I didn't stumble across it until I needed to look up something plant-related.  I feel really bad about interrogating Mom so harshly now...

chambers 90c stove range

These are really nice - delicate, not too sweet, with a nice cinnamon-sugar flavor, almost as if someone had combined Mexican wedding cookies and cinnamon toast.  The small size and light texture keep them from being filling, so it is easy to nibble several without feeling guilty (because really, who can eat one cookie? Not I!). They also seem to get even better on the second day and store well for several days. These are going straight onto my "make again" list.  Thank you for the recommendation, PSherm!

Cinnamon Logs (Printable recipe)

from Cookies by Bess (1980) by Bess Hoffman

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 300F.
Mix well in order given.  Shape in rolls about 1/2 inch in diameter.  Cut in little logs about 1 1/2 inches long.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Roll in sugar.


  1. Are these similar to a shortbread? My problem isn't eating just one or two, but the entire batch. How do you handle this problem? I'm trying to focus on steamed puddings at the moment, yet these keep calling my name since this post.

  2. That is the very reason that I don't bake cookies very often. Every time I pass the cookie jar, a cookie jumps out and into my hand. Sneaky little sugar bombs!

    As for the shortbread question, I would say the sweetness level is similar to shortbread, but the texture is a little more delicate. I would highly recommend them, but I suggest waiting until they are fully cooled before doing a taste test, to let the flavors fully develop.

  3. Oh, and thanks for the reminder that I want to try sticky toffee pudding sometime over the winter. What kind of puddings are you making?

  4. You must get over your selfishness. You're cooking for the common good now! How else will foodies the web over rediscover these lost gems? :) Take heart that your next posting is eagerly awaited.

    In the past, I've focused on "steamed " puddings in the microwave (horrors), but I am experimenting with more traditional recipes. So far it's various Brown Breads to get the timing correct. I'm going to try something different this week so we'll see how it goes!.

  5. heehee! Now when Farm Boy complains that I'm baking too much, I will respond with, "It's for the common good!" ;)

    Mmmm, I haven't had brown bread in years. Now that the weather has cooled down from sweltering to mostly pleasant, it might be time for a nice dinner of baked beans and steamed brown bread.

    This discussion is making me think that we need start a movement to bring back steamed breads and cakes. So many people don't know what they are missing! :)

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