|Well loved, and published in 1971|
The first Open Line Cookbook, "The Best of the Open Line", was offered in 1969 and included Open Line recipes collected over the first six years of a daily radio telephone program on WMT Radio called "The Open Line", first airing in 1963. From the very beginning, recipes and questions and answers on cooking dominated the whole hour, indicating the popularity of favorite family recipes passed along for others to share and enjoy. In the first cookbook, reluctantly, some recipes had to be passed by because a 250 page cookbook will only accommodate so many recipes. A second cookbook called "The Rest of the Best of the Open Line" was offered in 1971, including some of the omitted recipes and new recipes received in the two years between the first and second cookbooks. (Source: http://www.openline.bplaced.net/book3.html)You can find some of their bulletins here: http://www.openline.bplaced.net/index.html It is an old website, at least it looks that way from the formatting. If you explore more of their links, you can find the cookbook I used for this recipe here.
The reason I categorize the recipe under "Ladies' Groups" is this quote from the back page of this book:
Open Line recipes have a special something in common. They are all a favorite in somebody's family, and are offered in the hope that someone else will share the joy of discovering a way to please their own cookie eaters...
Many of them could have become forgotten recipes, the pride of a past generation. Passing them along now will perhaps keep them alive and busy, to be enjoyed by generations to come, that remember how good Grandmother's Christmas baking always was, and now can be again in the floured hands of today's Mothers, and tomorrow's Grandmothers.To me, these are the same thoughts and motivations the Ladies' Groups have for publishing their recipes. The only difference is that these recipes don't have a name and location attributed to them. In a way, that makes me sad.
So here is to all the ladies (and gentlemen) who contributed recipes to Mr. Loyd's show and thus to his books. You are unnamed but your recipes are not forgotten!
1 cup shortening
1/4 cup honey
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
|And powdered sugar!|
Notice these don't use eggs or any sort of leavening! I suspect it is either an old recipe or was created during a World War when foods were rationed.
I chose a dark honey for a rich flavor. I used almonds which I chopped and lightly toasted.
After the shortening was beaten well all by itself, I added the honey and beat it some more. It was definitely creamed well!
The dough came together easily and wasn't sticky at all. Then I chilled it for about 20 minutes while the oven heated and I ate lunch.
I had to look up the approximate size of hickory nuts and settled on about 1 inch diameter. When I placed them on the cookie sheet, I wasn't sure if they would spread or not. Sure, the recipe says they are "balls" but with all that shortening I wondered if they would spread. So I spaced them widely apart. The rest of the dough went back into the refrigerator.
|Room to play|
It was time for the second batch. I spaced them closer together. In taste testing the first batch, I thought they were cooked too much. They weren't burnt but I wanted them to be softer. So I cooked the second batch for 25 minutes.
|Batch #2, closer and cooked 5 min. less|
|The twice rolled four are in the upper right corner.|
Several of us tested them. We found that the honey flavor was detected after we had been chewing the cookie for a little while. It wasn't dominant but it was there. Mostly I tasted the nuts.
The first batch was good but a bit too dry for my tastes. The second batch, cooked five minutes less, were better but I still think they should be cooked for only 15 to 20 minutes in my oven.
They were good cookies! Nutty, very slightly sweet, crunchy. The second roll in the powdered sugar only enhanced the look and did not make the cookies any sweeter. I think people who normally don't like sweet cookies would like these. I also think they would go well with coffee or tea.
Now that I know they don't spread when cooked, I would put the entire batch on one cookie sheet if I could.
Success! A handy cookie any time of year. I suspect the dough would freeze well -- and maybe would be good to shape into a log and sliced. Then the cookies would bake very quickly. It is worth a try some day.