Mincemeat is that sweet concoction of dried fruits, spices, sugar and nuts (and sometimes spirits) that pops up around the holidays.
My family always had mincemeat pie at Christmas gatherings. It was usually the last one to go – the apple, pumpkin and pecan being first. I always enjoyed a sliver of that mincemeat – its distinct flavor was enough to hold me over for the next twelve months 🙂
When I found the recipe for mincemeat cookies in my grandmother’s box this week, I was excited. I remember her serving them, but haven’t tasted them in 40+ years. The recipe she used incorporated Borden (now JM Smucker-Borden) None Such mincemeat in a jar – you can still find it on supermarket shelves.
I researched the original recipe and hers looks pretty much like the one that used to be on the jar, except for slight reduction in flour. I don’t remember her glazing them, but the original recipe calls for lemon glaze (I made mine with orange juice/zest).
These are soft, cake-y cookies, meant to be bite-sized, but I made mine bigger. They’re slightly sweet, with little bits of chewy mincemeat. I’m not really a cake-y cookie gal, preferring crispy and/or chewy varieties. But I can’t escape the memory of these cookies and their distinctly holiday flavor, so I put aside my preferences and enjoyed every bite.
If you’d like to try another of my family holiday treats, try this French-Canadian tourtière, then enjoy the mincemeat cookies for dessert. Happy Holidays, from “little Nicole” 🙂
Vintage Mincemeat Cookies
Based on the None Such mincemeat recipe, these vintage cookies are a yummy addition to your holiday cookie platter.
Servings: 60 cookies
- 1 c. Vegetable shortening (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 c. Granulated sugar
- 3 large Eggs
- 3 c. All-purpose flour, unsifted
- 1 tsp. Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 1/3 c. None Such brand mincemeat (jarred version, not boxed)
- 1 1/2 c. Powdered sugar
- 1/4 c. Fresh lemon or orange juice
- 1 tsp. Lemon or orange zest
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with vegetable spray; set aside until ready to use.
- Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, until each is well-incorporated.
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl, then gradually spoon into creamed mixture.
- Stir in mincemeat. Drop batter onto baking sheet using a rounded teaspoon (*see note), 2" apart. You should fit 12 on each sheet.
- Bake 8-10 minutes, until nicely browned. Cool on a rack, then glaze (optional).
- Whisk powdered sugar, juice and zest in a small bowl then drizzle or spoon over each cookie. Store remaining cookies in refrigerator or a sealed container.
*If you'd like to make less cookies or speed up the process, use a rounded tablespoon of batter for each cookie. You may want to press the dough down with a fork (dipped in water) in order to flatten them out a bit so they're not so dome-shaped.