Monday, January 7, 2013

The Feast of the Magi...A Day Late ;^)

Hi, Everyone!
Yes, in my world even the Magi might be a day late...
and it would be okay.
January 6th was actually the Feast of the Magi,
and I was prepared to make my Camel Cookies...
But then, Jonathan and Mr. B wanted me to watch
The Return of the King...
(just not those Kings) ~
...we had spent the previous two evenings
watching the first and second movies in the
 Lord of the Rings trilogy (I know, I'm way behind),
and I didn't want to disappoint ~
They were educating me in the ways of Hobbits, Elves and Dwarves...
Before I see The Hobbit ~
So I decided that it wouldn't hurt to wait another day for cookie-baking...

A couple of weeks ago I re-found the copper camel cookie-cutter

that Mr. B made me when Jonathan was small,

and I decided that we needed to make Camel Cookies again.

We'd started the tradition in 2000 after I saw the recipe

in Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine,

and because I thought it would be something I could actually keep up with;

something that didn't have to be done in the rush before Christmas,

but in the more relaxed days after...

and still be right on time!

Well, that was the plan, anyway.

We kept it up for quite a while, then gradually the poor Magi

got later and later, and then we kind of forgot about the

little camels.

So, this year, I decided we'd revive the tradition.

First I had to get the magazine again...

(I'd had them all at one time, before the fire.)

I could have just made sugar cookies, but I remembered how good

the little frosted shortbread cookies were...

and I looked on eBay.

There it was!

I could usually remember what was in certain issues of

Home Companion by the art that was on the cover ~ of the earlier ones, anyway.

But, to make sure, I asked the seller before I bid if there was a recipe for

Camel Cookies in there ~ :^)

The Canadian seller was a sweet lady named Joyce who offered

 to just e-mail me the recipe...♥

I told her I would like to have the Home Companion again, as well,

but would appreciate it if she would send the recipe in case

 the magazine didn't arrive in time, so she did...

then went out of her way to mail the magazine when she

had business in the States, to save me money (I got it really quickly, too!) ~

We (as Bloggers, of course!) already know that there are still lots of

kind people in the world, but it's always nice to run into one, isn't it?

Thank you again, Joyce!

Here's everything we used ~ very simple ingredients.
I must have not used a sifter when we made the cookies when

Jonathan was small, because he said "Have we always had this??"~

And proceeded to do the sifting for me.

Fascinating, sifters!

I washed it very well first because I had just used it last week to

sift the mica for those little bleached trees....(Oops!)


Okay, here is the recipe...


You can make the adaptable dough into a cylinder, refrigerate it until

it is firm, and then slice it into rounds...

Or, press into a cake pan, cut into squares or diamonds

(or camels)

and bake. Cookies can be frozen or stored in an airtight container

for a week or so.

Makes two dozen cookies, depending on shape.

2 sticks unsalted butter

3/4 cup sifted confectioner's sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups sifted all-purpose or unbleached flour

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

(I used the meltable chocolate wafers instead, which came in their own little

container and didn't require the addition of shortening)

1 teaspoon vegetable shortening (if using regular chocolate chips)


1. Cream butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in large bowl.

2. Add flour and beat until well mixed.

Form cookie dough into a flattened round and wrap in wax paper;

refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

4. Roll cookie dough 1/4 thick on a lightly floured surface.

Cut into shapes and bake on ungreased cookies sheets for 20-25 minutes

until they are still pale and just beginning to turn light brown.

Let cool on rack.

5. Melt chocolate chips with vegetable shortening on top of a double

boiler over simmering water.

Dip cooled cookies in mixture or spread with a pastry knife.

Place on waxed paper until chocolate hardens.

Ours looked pretty much like these!

So glad that I still have my Mom's rolling pin...
A herd of camels...
Made even better with Chocolate...
Jonathan put a little fez on this one...;^)
And here they are!

Ready to carry the Wise Men to follow the Star!

These Wise Men were my Mom's, purchased in 1968.

They look "60s"-ish, don't you think?


I love them, though...♥
Here is one of my favorite Christmas things, a Santa cookie jar...

 from William Joyce's Santa Calls...

Love him! ~ I'm putting away Christmas for the most part,

but he gets to stay out for a little while longer ~
One more thing...

Another vintage Woolworth's photo ~ a window display of ornaments...

(Time machine....!!)

Good night, all ~ have a great Tuesday!


  1. What a great post! Love the cookies, and your traditions, etc. I'm very familiar with the Magi, and The Epiphany...because that's my birthday! I became a VERY big number this year! Oh...and I loved the Woolworth picture, too! Thanks for sharing

  2. Wonderful post, those cookies make my mouth water. I love shortbread cookies.

  3. These look so tasty and beautiful! I'm going to give it a try I think. Is confectioners sugar what we call icing sugar- ie the very fine stuff? Jane xx

  4. That was a very heartwarming post. It is wonderful when we find people that go out of there way to be kind and it is also true that was goes around comes around. We used to live in a small rural town and the neighbor wasnt real close but he was our next door neighbor and he never got over loosing his wife so he didnt shave..had no teeth didnt change his clothes real often and liked to drink beer. I didn't think he got many good meals so would make a plate for him when he was around. I had company the one noght and she saw me fix him dinner (and yes he ate at our table) ...well when she told her sister about it she sent me an Easter card and had $300.00 in it and a note that said "For being kind to your neighbor. Why did I just tell you this story..I don't know :) Have a good week

  5. Awww yummyyy cookies ..and super sweet post
    Hugs x

  6. Anne- What a wonderful post. I so miss Home Companion and was so sorry to see it discontinued. The magazine always fascinated me. I am glad you got the issue and have the recipe you love with it. Those camel cookies look wonderful.

    Oh-the sweet vintage picture of Woolworths- who didn't love a five and dime as a kid? Blessings to you today- xo Diana

  7. Oh, how I enjoyed this post, read it twice. I love your camel tradition, and your Mom's 3 Kings are a treasure.

    Hugs ♥

  8. i really enjoyed this post! isn't ebay wonderful? if it's not on ebay it doesn't exist! i love that cookie jar!

  9. I love those camel cookies ! So cute ! I have a plastic camel cookie cutter that I bought at a flea market in OH many years ago, but I've never been able to use it with a cookie dough that would work. Maybe I should give this one a try. These cookies would make great little gifts, especially on this side of the world. Thanks for sharing! Your cookies look so lovely with the three wise men and the cookie jar is great too! Have a fabulous week. Tammy

  10. After reading this post today, I jumped over to Amazon and ordered 4 camel cookie cutters. I will keep one and share the rest with my daughters. Lovely post and so inspiring. I plan on making camel cookies next year!

  11. I couldn't get enough of this post Anne! I read it through 4 times so I didn't miss a thing! I love the idea of celebrating Epiphany with the wise men and camel cookies. My father used to make cookie cutters, I need to get them out. But anyway, love the camel cookie cutter, and your Mom's wise men, I adore your cookie jar.
    It was really thoughtful of the woman on ebay to do that for you. Yes, there are still kind people out there! Thanks Anne for a great post.

  12. A very nice tradition with the camel cookies!

  13. So nice to make traditions and to actually stick with them :) The camel cookies are cool.

  14. Anne,
    First I must say that your camel cookies look yummy and amazing!!!! In addition, I wanted to share that My Hubby and I are extreme fans of LOTR!!! We recently saw the Hobbit and it was great too. I filmed a video about our going to see the Hobbit and our thoughts in re to the movie. You can view it on my YouTube Channel if you are interested in taking a peek at it. Also wanted to say that I too had been a subscriber to Mary Englebreit's Home Companion Magazine for years!!! I was sad when it was no longer available!!! So cool that you found that article to make your cookies. What a treasure!

  15. Lovely post-as always! I miss thoses magazines-only have a few, then they stopped...I'd love to have some of those old Christmas decorations in that Woolworth's store.....

  16. Loved the post and your tradition...

  17. What a lovely tradition and I'm stealing the recipe too! Making note of the camels on the 6th! What fun is that!

  18. Wish I had known about the camel cookies so that we could have attempted them for Los Reyes. I can't believe that there is a camel shaped cutter. I must look for one for next year.

    I loved your post and the way it cascaded down the page, full of words and images!

  19. Those cookies are wonderful! I loved those Home Companion magazines, as well...I still have a few myself...such a delightful eye-ful...and apparently mouthful, too :)

    Love to hear about nice Sellers out there....makes buying on Etsy that much more gratifying!

  20. Love those awesome camel cookies Anne and how your son has such a great sense of humor with his added fez! I also love that your hubby made that cookie cutter and what a nice traditional memory it has made! What a sweet gal that Joyce was to help out!!!!
    I giggle that you are getting caught up with the Hobbit series so you can join your family in the whole experience. I did the same thing with Harry Potter.
    As always, I sooo enjoy all your vintage items and the picture too from days gone by.
    Thanks for the Feast!!! <3 Kelly ;)

  21. What a great post! I love the idea of making camel cookies.

  22. Hi Anne,
    I always love your posts.
    They are enjoyable to read, and I love the pictures that you post to go along with your thoughts.

    I adore those shortbread camel cookies, and I thank you for sharing the recipe with us.
    Perhaps I'll make some shortbread heart dipped in chocolate for Valentines :)

  23. Oh I love the cookies, especially the chocolate saddles. Wat a wonderful tradition.

  24. What a wonderful post, Anne! Thank you so much for including that recipe!
    xo Nellie

  25. Enjoyed this post, Anne! I would eat plenty of cookies, your Wise men look beautiful.

  26. Hi Anne,
    what a treasure to have a handmade copper cookie cutter. And the little camel cookies turned out yummy. Your figurines are all adorable and make a nice mood for the feast. Thanks for sharing.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  27. Anne,
    Love the cookies and the idea of celebrating the Feast of Three Kings.
    The Woolworth Store picture is spectacular!! Can you imagine how a child felt looking at that window display?????

    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year...


  28. What a wonderful tradition... so glad Jonathan got to know a sifter ahahahahah He schools you in Hobits and Elves you in the misteries of kitchen instruments of past times ahahah. You get both shiny ends of Life. And so does he.

    Thank you for sharing,
    Teresa :running to buy a camel shape cookie cutter:

    Blowing a virtual kiss to all those generous hearts that go out of their ways for lovely gestures like Joyce had with you. They make us believe again and over, don't they?

  29. Great post, Anne, loved all the twists and turns and little stories. I, too have some Mary Engelbreigt magazines that I treasure and what a lovely tradition of baking the camel cookies. So nice to have your Mother's Magi to celebrate with. That vintage Woolworth's photo brings back memories, too. Have a wonderful week and don't eat too many cookies! xx

  30. Wow! This whole post is a feast for the eyes. Those camel cookies look so good, and not a drop of chocolate gone awry! I have no idea how you do it.

    That Woolworth's photo is priceless. I miss that store so much.


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