Mincemeat Cookies

With chopped condensed mincemeat, I think.

Mincemeat first appeared in cookbooks in the 16th century, when preparations of preserved fruit would be mixed with fat from beef stock and prepared in pies. Over the centuries, the addition of liquor (typically brandy, these days) enhanced the preservative effect of the sugar from the fruit; the mincemeat we enjoy today benefits as much from aging as it does from the ingredients.

The most famous brand of mincemeat in the States is None Such, which we mentioned in the post for mincemeat swirlybuns from Kent, Ohio. While we’re most familiar with the ready-to-use variety in the jar, the classic None Such is basically a brick of concentrated dried fruit, sugar, and a small amount of beef.

If you were making a pie, you’d boil that concentrate and perhaps add in some other ingredients–nuts, for example, or the aforementioned brandy (vinegar is used in the boxed version). But if you were making cookies, the most common suggestion was to simply break the concentrate into pieces and mix them in as if they were chocolate chips.

Here’s the original recipe for cookies from the None Such box:

None Such Cookies

One small cupful butter or substitute; one and one-half cupfuls brown sugar; three eggs beaten; one teaspoonful soda; one package None Such Mince Meat broken into small pieces. Make quite stiff with flour, about four cupfuls. Roll thin; cut with biscuit cutter, and bake in quick oven.

After Borden bought the brand in the late 1920s, they changed a bit here and there–this is from an insert:

None Such Prize Cookies

3-1/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1 (9 oz.) package None Such Mince Meat

Sift together flour, salt and soda. Cream shortening; add sugar gradually; cream together until fluffy. Add eggs, beat until smooth. Add mince meat broken into small pieces. Add flour and mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheet. Bake in moderately hot oven (400 deg. F.) about 12 minutes. Makes about 48 cooked, 3-inches in diam.

From a notebook originally from somewhere in the general area of Sterling, Colorado from the 1930s.

This recipe is from the sixth page of the notebook; here’s the page in full (click to enlarge).

Click to expand a longer explanation...

In the words of the seller:
I acquired this book from the great granddaughter of the woman who wrote this book back in a small Nebraska town in the 30’s. She belonged to that generation of rural housewives who worked tirelessly to make ends meet and “keep body and soul together” for their families working the farms.
Later addendum:

[A]fter a conversation I had with a friend’s sister who used to live in North Eastern Colorado, given the type of recipes listed we decided it might be from a small town there, i.e., Sterling or Fort Morgan. Also North Platte or Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you Google a map of Sterling, Colorado and pull back, you will see all these little towns in that tri-state area.

Mince Meat Cookies Mrs. Baily

1 c. butter
1-1/2 c. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. soda in hot water
1-1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. nuts
2 c. minced meat

Add 1-3/4 c. flour, ether roll out or drop with spoon on buttered cookie sheet.

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