Accordion Treats: In 1957, this vintage cookie recipe won $25,000!

Vintage Accordion Treats cookie recipe (1957)

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Now you can try the wedge-shaped cookies that won the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1957!

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 on the 9th National Cook Book for the Pillsbury Bake-Off

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 cookies - Pillsbury Bake-Off Grand Prize Winning recipe (1957)

1950s Accordion Treats cookie recipe

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.

ALSO SEE: 31 essential cookie baking supplies for a very merry Christmas in the kitchen

Accordion Treats cookies (1957)

Accordion Treats cookies (1957)

Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

In 1957, this was the $25,000 Grand Prize winning recipe in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. It was created by Mrs Gerda Roderer, Berkeley, California.

From the contest booklet: "Quick and easy with novel shaping... crisp, wedge-shaped butter cookies baked in an accordion-pleated foil pan. Try your favorite flavor variation."

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, creaming well.
  2. Blend in 2 unbeaten eggs, vanilla, the salt*; beat well.
  3. Gradually add the sifted Pillsbury’s Best All Purpose Flour* and chopped nuts, if desired; mix thoroughly.
  4. Fold one yard of heavy-duty aluminum foil lengthwise.
  5. Fold the double foil crosswise into 1-inch pleats to make an "accordion-pleated" pan.**
  6. Place the foil on a baking sheet.
  7. Drop a rounded teaspoonful of dough into each fold of foil. (Dough spreads during baking.)
  8. Bake in slow oven (325 F) 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Cool 10 minutes.
  10. Remove cookies; turn foil over for the next sheet of cookies. (Or clean foil with damp cloth and re-use.)
  11. If desired, sprinkle cookies with confectioners’ sugar or frost with an icing.

Notes

* 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.


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).

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

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