A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 15, 2008
Texas Lizzies (Christmas cookies)

"Texas Lizzies” are Christmas cookies, although they can be served at any season. The cookies are sometimes called “Lizzies,” “Georgia Lizzies” (when made with peach brandy), or “Christmas Lizzies.”

“Lizzies” resemble “fruitcake cookies” and are made with ingredients such as raisins, candied pineapple, candied orange, candied cherries, broken pecans, and some whiskey, brandy, bourbon, or grape juice. The origin of “Lizzies” is not known, but the recipe has appeared in Texas cookbooks since at least 1952.


21 November 1952, Dallas (TX) Morning News, part II, pg. 1:
And add to that Hollands Southern Cook Book, which is just off the press and edited by a Dallas woman, Charleen McClain. It’s cooking with a southern accent. There are many unusual features about the Hollands Southern Cook Book such as blank pages for addition of your favorite recipes, a chart called the do’s and dont’s of seasoning, and if you’ve lost your grandmother’s recipe for Brown Lizzies, those rich Christmasy cookies, you’ll find it on Page 67.

Google Books
The Texas Cookbook:
From barbecue to banquet—an informal view of dining and entertainment the Texas way
by Mary Faulk Koock
Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press
2001
Boston: Little, Brown
1965
Pg. 214:
Another delicacy of Leefe’s is her recipe for *Lizzies:
Lizzies
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
4 eggs, beaten
3 tsp. soda
3 Tbs. milk
2/3 cup whiskey
1 tsp. nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon
1 lb. seeded raisins or dates
1 1/2 cups broken pecans
1/2 lb. candied cherries
1 lb. candied pineapple

Combine ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen.

2 December 1969, New York (NY) Times, “3 Recipes for Holiday Bakers” by Jean Hewitt, pg. 66:
LIZZIES
1 (15-ounce) box raisins
1/2 cup bourbon, rum or cognac
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 pound candied pineapple, chopped
1/4 pound candied orange, chopped
1/4 pound candied citron, chopped
1/4 pound glace cherries, quartered
1/4 pound candied lemon, chopped
3 cups chopped nuts, pecans, walnuts or almonds.

1. Preheat the oven to 325.
2. Soak the raisins in the bourbon, rum or cognac.
3. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs.
4. Sift together the flour, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, salt and soda. Fold into the batter.
5. Mix the soaked raisins and liquor with the remaining ingredients and stir into the flour mixture.
6. Drop by tablespoons on to a greased cooky sheet and bake about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on a rack and then store in an airtight tin.
Yield: About four dozen.

10 December 1970, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section E, pg. 14:
Lizzies
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 pound raisins
1/2 cup bourbon
1 pound pecan halves
1/2 pound citron, diced
1 pound candied cherries.

Cream margarine; gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour with soda and spices; add to butter mixture. Soak raisins in bourbon at least 1 hour to plump; then add to butter mixture along with nuts and fruit. Drop from teaspoon on buttered cookie sheets. Bake in a 325 F. oven about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container. Can be frozen. Makes 120.
NOTE: These cookies are especially good with holiday eggnog.

23 April 1973, Lancaster (PA) Eagle-Gazette, section 2, pg. 4, col. 2:
Lizzies
Using a recipe from a friend in Texas, Mrs. Utley will bake these hearty morsels known as Lizzies. Ingredients call for one half cup brown sugar, one third cup butter, two eggs well beaten, one wine glass whiskey, 1 1/2 teaspoon soda, 1 1/2 tablespoons milk, 1 1/2 cups flour, one pound each whole pecan meats and dates chopped, 1/2 pound candied pineapple chopped, and one pound candied cherries, halved.

Cream sugar and butter, add beaten eggs. Mix fruit with half the flour. To the egg batter, add the remaining flour, soda, salt, milk, then the whiskey. Mix well with floured fruit. Drop on well greased cookie sheet. Bake in slow oven (300-325) for 25 minutes.

December 1973, Southern Living, pg. 162, col. 2:
LIZZIES
2 pounds candied cherries
2 pounds candied pineapple
1 pound dark raisins or chopped dates
1 pound white raisins
6 cups chopped pecans
6 or 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
4 eggs
1 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
3 teaspoons soda

Cut fruit into small pieces. Combine fruit and nuts; dredge in 1 cup flour and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pineapple juice, milk, and dry ingredients; mix well. Add fruit and nuts. Work well with hands so fruit is well mixed.  Drop teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 275 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Yield: 24 dozen.
Mrs. Guy Bryan,
Poteet, Texas.

14 January 1974, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, pg. 11 A, col. 1:
On Jan. 6 Mr. and Mrs. Basil Assaley of Jackson Street served ginger tea and Mrs. Assaley’s legendary “Texas Lizzies” to friends and relatives in celebration of a special occasion—the birth of their first grandchild, Lewis Andrew Assaley II, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis A. Assaley of Cincinnati.

14 November 1974, Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, MS), pg. 23, col. 4:
CHRISTMAS LIZZIES
Sarah Thomas
2 sticks softened butter or margarine
1 c. light brown sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour, sifted
3 T. milk
3 t. soda
1/2 c. candied pineapple, chopped fine
1 lb. white raisins
1 lb. candied cherries, chopped fine
1 1/2 lb. pecans, chopped
1 t. each cloves, nutmeg & cinnamon
1 c. grape juice

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Mix fruit and nuts and 1 cup of the flour with the creamed mixture.

Dissolve the soda in the milk; add 2 c. flour and stir in with the grape juice. Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Store in tightly covered container. Bake 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

Google Books
Cuisine, Texas:
A Multiethnic Feast
by Joanne M. Smith
Austin, TX: University of Texas Press
1995
Pg. 285:
Christmas Fruitcake Lizzies
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups flour (divided)
1/2 pound seedless white raisins
1/2 pound dates, chopped
1 pound candied cherries, cut in half
1/2 pound citron, chopped (optional)
1 pound pecans, chopped or halved
6 tablespoons whiskey or brandy

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Cream together sugar, butter, soda, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add beaten eggs and mix well, then add milk and 1 cup flour. Place the combined fruits and pecans in a separate bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup flour and add to the batter. Drop from a teaspoon on greased cookie sheets and bake for 35 minutes. Bake 1 sheet at a time; remaining batter can stand either in mixing bowl or on baking sheets without losing its quality. When done, cover with cheesecloth and drizzle with whiskey or brandy. Remoisten every few days.
Makes 9 to 10 dozen.

29 November 1995, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “It’s a cookie! It’s a fruitcake! It’s both!” by Beverly Bundy, pg. 4:
The request for Lizzies, a fruitcake sort of cookie, rang a bell with more readers than I would have thought possible. Several wrote in that they hadn’t thought of the recipe for years but knew an aunt, mother-in-law or grandmother who made the cookie for the holidays. One especially cute letter-writer said her aunt, a teetotaling Baptist, always used just a touch of bourbon in the cookies to improve the flavor.

29 November 2000, Biloxi (MS) Sun Herald, “Right Substitutes, Recipes Make Sugar-Free Enjoyable” by Andrea Yeager, pg. B2:
I think I can even make Texas Lizzies, a fruitcake cookie, using that sweetener. I’ll let you know the results.

14 December 2003, Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, “A Holiday Cookie,” pg. J4:
“Many of our friends have come to expect their Texas Lizzies each year. I do not care for fruitcake, but these cookies are delicious, and the companionship ... “

Beth Marie’s Little Bitty Space
11/27/2007 12:28 PM
I am going to make some Texas Lizzies on Friday I think.  Wow, the ingredients cost a fortune.  I bought the smallest bottle of whiskey I could find.  It was $10.40.  I don’t imbibe at all but Texas Lizzies are not the same without the whiskey in them.

TEXAS LIZZIES…
I have posted this recipe on my blog for the last three Christmas seasons.  This recipe is from Naomi’s Home Companion by Naomi Judd. Jim loved to help me make all kinds of cookies at Christmastime. 

Naomi says, “These are delicious, festive cookies, almost like tiny, tiny fruitcakes.”
MAKES ABOUT 9 DOZEN

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 box (16 ounces) light brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 cup whiskey
3/4 pound walnuts chopped
3/4 pound pecans chopped
1 box (15 ounces) golden raisins
1 1/4 cups dark raisins
8 ounces each candied red and green cherries, chopped

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; grease or use baking spray on several cookie sheets.
2.  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.  Beat in the sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed.
3.  Into another large bowl sift together flour, baking soda and spices.
4.  On low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the whiskey beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Stir in the nuts, raisins and candied cherries.
5.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
6.  Bake at 350 degrees until set in the center, 10 t0 12 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.  Store in tightly covered containers.
***Note - I do not like the taste of nutmeg so I always leave that out and add some vanilla in place of it. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, March 15, 2008 • Permalink