Accordion Treats was the name of a creative cookie recipe that was the Grand Prize Winner at the big baking contest held in the Beverly Hilton’s Grand Ballroom — even beating out the then-new (and now iconic) Peanut Butter Blossoms cookie!
These crispy, delicate butter cookies have such an unusual shape, everyone who sees them is bound to ask how you got made them like that.
The answer: aluminum foil, pleat-folded like an accordion, is the secret to their unique look. After you drop the cookie dough into the foil folds, it spreads while baking, creating treats that look like segments of a large orange.
The winner’s shortbread-flavored cookies were inspired by an old recipe from her family home in Strasbourg, France. When she couldn’t find a baking pan like the one she’d used in Europe, she created her own out of foil.
They’re delicious as-is, but you can try adding in various different extracts and/or other ingredients.
Then, after they’re baked, you can sprinkle your accordion treats with powdered sugar, drizzle them with melted chocolate (with or without sprinkles) or dip them in melted chocolate or white chocolate.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, in 1957, that grand prize had the equivalent purchasing power of $267,000 compared to 2022. (!) All the more amazing that few Americans today have even heard of this prize-winning cookie.
The original Accordion Treats recipe from 1957
Variations: Substitute a teaspoon of one of the following flavorings or spices for the vanilla and nuts: ground cardamom, caraway seed, anise seed, rum flavoring, almond extract. Or try 1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon rind (or 1/2 teaspoon orange or lemon extract).
* If you use self-rising flour, omit salt. (This cookie is open-textured when baked with self-rising flour because it contains baking powder, an ingredient not called for in the winning recipe.)
** Four thicknesses of regular aluminum foil may be substituted.
Accordion Treats (1957)
$25,000 Grand Prize Winner by Mrs Gerda Roderer, Berkeley, California
Quick and easy with novel shaping… crisp, wedge-shaped butter cookies baked in an accordion-pleated foil pan. Try your favorite flavor variation.