12 traditional holiday recipes with walnuts (1950s)

10 of the best-loved traditional holiday recipes from the 1950s (3)

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Best-loved traditional holiday recipes with walnuts

Walnuts have played an important part in bringing festive appearance and flavor to holiday foods the world over. Here, collected especially for this season by the Diamond Walnut Growers, are ten of the best-loved holiday recipes that have become “American traditions.”

We think you’ll enjoy making one or more of them part of your holiday celebration.

10 of the best-loved traditional holiday recipes from the 1950s (1)

Traditional holiday recipes with walnuts: Chess pie


1 unbaked pie shell with a high fluted edge
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolks
1/4 cup rich cream
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1 cup chopped Diamond Walnuts
1 cup seedless raisins, rinsed with water
1 egg white, stiffly beaten


Cream butter with sugar. Add, one at a time, 3 whole eggs and one yolk, beating well after each addition.

Stir in cream, vanilla, lemon juice and rind (the mixture will look like cottage cheese). Mix in raisins and walnuts. Fold in the egg white.

Pour into unbaked crust, bake 350 degrees oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Filling should be firm around outer edge, but “jiggle” in center.

MORE: A collection of classic Christmas cookies from the ’50s

Diamond cookie gems


1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup very finely chopped Diamond Walnuts
Powdered sugar


Cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Add salt and vanilla. Work in flour gradually. Stir in walnuts. Chill.

Using a teaspoonful, form into shape of small walnut. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet, bake in a moderate (350 degrees) oven 15-17 minutes.

Cool 3 minutes, then roll in powdered sugar. Cool on rack. Dust tops of cookies again with powdered sugar. Makes 3-1/2 dozen rich cookies.

Scotch trilbies (cookies)


1 cup butter or shortening
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats


Cream butter till soft, then add sugar gradually. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Stir in oats. Divide dough into 4 parts, then wrap in wax paper and chill overnight.

While cold, roll on well-floured board to 1/8ths inch thickness. Cut with any shape cookie cutter and bake on ungreased cookie sheet in a moderate (350 degree) oven, 10-12 minutes until light brown.

ALSO TRY: Holiday chocolate nut squares retro bar cookie recipe (1997)

At serving time, spread cookies sandwich fashion with this filling:

Scotch Trilbies (filling)


1-1/2 cups chopped, pitted dates
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1 cup chopped Diamond Walnuts


Cook first 5 ingredients together until thickened — about 5 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Chill until ready to use.

Walnut slices (bar cookies)

Walnut slices from the Mary Meade holiday cookie collection are delectable little bars made in three layers: first, a butter pastry; then a chewy nut and coconut filling; topped with an orange butter frosting.

Part 1:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour

Part 2:

2 eggs, well-beaten
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Part 3:

1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Combine butter and flour and spread mixture in a 9 inch square pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cover with a blend of the ingredients in part 2, and bake 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven and top with mixture in part 3. Cut into 1-inch squares.

Walnut nuggets

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons orange juice
1-1/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cups coarsely-chopped walnuts

Cream butter and sugar together. COmbineegg, vanilla, juice and rind Add to first micture and beat well. Add flour and spice; mix thoroughly and chill.

Shape into patties or balls, and roll in chopped walnuts. Place on greased baking sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

MORE: Baker’s easy one-bowl German sweet chocolate brownie recipe: A classic from 1997

Traditional holiday recipes: Panettone (Italian Christmas bread)


2 cups milk, scalded
1 cake (1/4 teaspoon) compressed yeast
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
3/4 teaspoon anise extract
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1 cup mixed glace (candied) citron, orange and lemon peel, finely cut
1/2 cup glace cherries, cut
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water, slightly beaten


Cool milk to lukewarm. Add crumbled yeast and stir until dissolved. Beat in 2 cups flour.

In large bowl, cream the butter with sugar. Beat in eggs and anise, then add the milk mixture, blending it until smooth. Work in remaining flour mixed with salt and nutmeg.

On well-floured board, knead. Place in bowl, rub the top with olive oil, cover. Let rise in warm place until light (about 2 hours).

Mix the fruit and walnuts., then work into the dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Grease top, then cover and let rise again. Knead, and shape into 4 small or two large loaves. Arrange on greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg mixture.

Cover, let rise till double. Bake 350 degrees – Small loaves about 30 minutes; large loaves 40 minutes. The crust should be fairly dark. Remove to rack and cool.

ALSO TRY: Golden thumbprints recipe: The classic cookies, ’80s style

12 of the best-loved traditional holiday recipes from the 1950s

Chocolate mint fudge


2 cups sugar
1/3 cup white corn syrup
1/2 cup milk
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, shaved
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 cups coarsely broken Diamond Walnuts


Stir first 4 ingredients together in saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Cook till candy forms soft ball (236 degrees) when tested in cold water. Add flavorings and butter.

While hot, beat until very thick and creamy. Stir in walnuts. Pour into buttered pan. When cool, cut in squares.

ALSO SEE: Get the famous Can’t Fail 5-minute fudge recipe, plus 10 more fast vintage fudge recipes

Traditional holiday recipes: Plum pudding


1 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/2 cups light raisins
1-1/2 cups dark seedless raisins
1-1/2 currants
1/3 cup each (2 ounces) glace (candied) orange and lemon peel, finely cut
1/3 cup (2 ounces) finely cut citron
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1/3 cup brandy or cider
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups fine, dry breadcrumbs
1 cup brown sugar, finely packed
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups suet (8 ounces) ground or finely chopped
4 eggs, very well beaten
1/2 cup milk


Mix first 6 ingredients. Stir in lemon and brandy. In separate bowl mix, next 6 ingredients. Add to fruits, mixing well. Combine milk with beaten eggs, then stir into fruit-flour mixture, blending thoroughly.

Pack lightly into greased 2 quart mold, leaving 1 inch space for pudding to rise. Cover top with foil. Steam 5-6 hours. Serve with flaming brandy and hard sauce.

MORE IDEAS: See other traditional plum pudding recipes here

Traditional holiday recipes with walnuts: Old-fashioned fruit cake recipe


2 cups coarsely broken Diamond Walnuts
1 cups dark seedless raisins
2 cups light raisins
1/2 cup candied cherries cut in half
2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup pineapple or orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 eggs


Grease two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-3/4 inch loaf pans. Line with greased wrapping paper then with greased wax paper. Mix the first 5 ingredients together with 1 cup flour till coated. To the remaining flour add next 7 ingredients.

Beat two minutes at medium speed of mixer (300 strokes by hand). Blend in eggs, one at a time. Then beat 1 minute more at medium speed. Pour over floured fruits, mixing well.

Turn into prepared pans. Place in slow oven (250 degrees) with a pan of water on shelf below. Bake about 3 hours — or till touch on top leaves no dent. Cool in pans on rack.

To store, wrap in cloth dampened with cider or brandy. Keep in covered container in cool place. This cake cuts better after aging several days.

WANT MORE? Get other classic fruitcake recipes here!

Traditional holiday recipes: Walnut stuffing


3/4 cup finely chopped Diamond [Brand] Walnuts, toasted
4 cups stale bread, cubed
1 cup finely diced, tart apple
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon (or more) poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 cup melted butter (part margarine or chicken fat if desired)
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot broth


Spread walnuts in shallow pan and toast in 325 degrees oven for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Mix all ingredients together till well blended adding just enough stock to moisten.

Stuff bird lightly or, for a special crunchy taste-treat, form stuffing into sewing sized balls and bake along with chicken till crisp and brown (about 30 minutes).

This recipe is sufficient for a 4 to 5 pound chicken or capon. For a 12 pound turkey, multiply by 3. Allow 1 to 1-1/2 cups stuffing per pound of bird.

ALSO SEE: Retro Thanksgiving recipes: Turkey fondue, Ham crepes, Caramel rum pumpkin cake & more (1974)


Tiny Tim apples (apple-shaped sweets)


1 cup (8 ounces) seeded dates
1 cup seedless raisins
8 ounces dried figs
1 cup Diamond Walnuts
1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
1 tablespoon orange juice


Chop fruit and nuts using a coarse blade or food chopper. Knead ingredients with the rind and juice until well blended.

Form into 1-inch apple shapes. Roll in powdered sugar, colored sugar crystals or finely chopped Diamond Walnuts. Add whole clove for stem and citron leaves, if desired.

Traditional holiday recipes with walnuts: Cranberry walnut relish


1 pound (quart) raw cranberries
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup coarsely broken walnuts, toasted
1 cup orange marmalade
Juice of one lime or lemon


In a shallow pan, stir the cranberries with sugar. Cover tightly (foil does nicely). Bake in a moderate (350 degrees) oven for 1 hour.

Spread walnuts in shallow pan, and toast along with cranberries until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Stir together baked cranberries, walnuts, marmalade and lime juice, till well mixed. Chill.

MORE: 20 delicious classic homemade cranberry sauce recipes

How to roast walnuts

Little boxes of toasted walnuts make wonderful hostess gifts. Fix them this way:

Blanch 2 cups of walnut halves and pieces in boiling water 3 minutes. Drain. Spread in shallow pan and sprinkle with salt. Dot with butter. Bake in 350 degree oven, stirring several times, till golden — 20 to 25 minutes.

Roast walnuts right in the shell in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. The toasted kernels are great for snacks — or add to recipes. Use for nibbling, or add to your tossed green salads.

MORE TO TRY: 4 wonderful walnut recipes: Pie, bread, squares & chocolate chip cookies (1978)

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