Mom’s recipe started in October when we stripped the garden of its green tomatoes and made our own mincemeat. I still make this (now and then) when I want the house to smell like my childhood home.
Every year, mother and I made mincemeat with the marvelous glut of the last green tomatoes harvested from our garden before the first freeze. The best green tomatoes would be carefully wrapped in newspaper and placed in an old bread box where they would slowly ripen and make their appearance “fresh picked” at the Thanksgiving table. The second-best tomatoes would be placed on the windowsill to ripen over the next couple of weeks.
Now, the third tier of green tomatoes, those with large blemishes, would be used in making mincemeat for the holidays. Her recipe was from her family, so I’m sure some of my LaFlamme and Martel cousins will find this familiar, although I doubt it was ever made the same twice.
We’d always make enough for Thanksgiving mincemeat pies, perhaps save a jar for Christmas, some for Mom’s traditional filled cookies, and some to give away. On her recipe card, she has the measurements all calculated for even larger batches, which we only made a time or two, not everyone being a fan of traditional mincemeat.
The butter is better
Originally, her recipe called for beef suet, but over time we replaced it with butter. It tasted even better, and that is how I make it always! My other twist on this was to add the fresh and candied ginger, not just the ground.
I use either dark rum or Grand Marnier for the spirits. It is also quite delicious with brandy, or even whiskey. You can mix up the fruit in any proportion you like, or add something else such as currants or even goji berries.
The Cookies: A holiday routine
The cookies were part of mom’s Christmas baking routine. I hadn’t made them for years, so I thought it was time for a revisit! The cookie dough is beautiful and soft, and if you are not fond of mincemeat, use a favorite jam. Raspberry is wonderful here!
And you don’t have to make your own mincemeat! There are some lovely jarred varieties available you can substitute. In fact, you can also make these using regular pie pastry, my mother often did!
The large ones using a 2 1/2-inch cutter make almost a dessert serving size. Serve on a pretty plate with dollop of whipped cream to end a festive meal and it’s like a little mince pie!
The LaFlamme Filled Mincemeat Cookies
Makes one dozen large cookies or 18 smaller
This is fun to do with a buddy or two, and the chopping goes much faster! The house will smell delicious, the steam will make everything feel warm and cozy.
So put on the tea kettle, get out the cutting boards, invite the family over, and tell stories about the times before now, while the house fills with exotic scents and memories.
Makes about eight pints or four quarts, enough to get a family through the holidays.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- Mincemeat for filling
- Sugar for sprinkling
Beat butter until soft and add the sugar, blending until creamy.
Add egg and continue beating. Beat in vanilla.
Sift flour. Mix together the cream, soda, and salt. To the sugar mixture, add half the dry, the entire sour cream mixture, and the last of the flour. Don’t over beat.
Chill dough, for at least a half hour. Roll out thin on a floured board. This dough is quite soft and lovely to work with.
Cut into 2- or 2 1/2-inch circles. Use a thin spatula to remove half the rounds to a cookie sheet covered with parchment or a silicon mat. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat on a round and top with a second, sealing the edges gently with your finger. Don’t overfill, and don’t worry about making a pretty border; the dough is quite soft, and any fussing gets lost in the cooking. Make a little slit in the top of each for steam to escape.
Bake at 350 until just browning on the edges, around 20 minutes for the 2 1/2 inch size. Let cool five minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can frost or glaze these if you like, or enjoy them straight up!
Green Tomato Mincemeat
- ¾ lb. seedless raisins
- ¾ lb. golden raisins
- ¾ lb. dried cherries
- 1 cup dried apricots
- ½ cup. candied ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp. grated lemon rind, or lemon and lime
- 2 tbsp. grated orange rind
- 1 cup brandy, rum, or Grand Marnier
- 3 lbs. green tomatoes, seeded
- 3 lbs. green apples
- 1 ½ lbs. butter, unsalted
- 2 lbs. brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. cloves
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. allspice
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
The night before, combine the dried fruit and citrus zest with the spirits. Squeeze in the juice from the fruits as well and let this set.
Wash tomatoes, seed, chop, and place in a large stock pot. Wash and dry the apples, do not peel them. Dice them and place in the pot with the tomatoes. Add all other ingredients along with the soaked fruit and taste. Does it need more cinnamon? Orange?
Bring to a boil, and simmer for at least an hour, until mixture is quite thick and aromatic, and taste again. Do not cover while it is cooking, you want evaporation to take place so it will thicken.
Place in sterilized jars and process in a hot-water bath for 20 minutes. If you don’t want to process the jars, turn them upside down after filling for about ten minutes then right and store in the refrigerator for up to two months, or freeze.
One quart makes a nice pie for the holiday, or a big batch of filled cookies.
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Your dishes look amazing!
Thank you so much, and thank you for stopping by!
You are welcome! I was curious when I saw your family names. I was born a Martel. I don’t know if I am related to them, but there are a lot of LaFlammes ? In Gravelbourg (where my parents lived).
You are most likely a cousin of some sort! My grandmother’s family was originally from Quebec, arriving there from Brittany in the late 1600s. My grandfather’s LaFlamme family arrived there at about the same time. They certainly spread out all over Canada and the United States! Here in southern Vermont, there are many of each family branch.
Chances are! My Martel ancestors came to Quebec generations ago. Growing up, I was told they were soldiers in the King’s Army who came to round up army deserters. I was also told that my Mother’s family (Parent) came earlier (deserters from the King’s Army). I am not sure if there was any truth to the tale but I always thought it was funny.
Have you explored any of your ancestors on Ancestry?
I did some work on it with my daughter years ago and my niece has followed up on it. I think our original ancestor to come over was Jean Martel. My father was Roland Martel. His parents were Armand Martel and Florida Boisselle and his grandparents were Camille Martel and Aurore Marcoux. I don’t have the rest of the lineage at the moment.
I will take a look at my tree this week.
The picture on your post about mincemeat of the three women. The two older women would definitely blend in at one of our family reunions. Maybe it is a French thing.
My sister and my niece, lots of French Canadian genes!
Always looking for more ways to use mincemeat and these sure look like a tasty idea!
Thank you! I hope you give them a try!
Love such filled cookies, and the fact you’ve filled them with homemade mincemeat makes them even better! 🙂
Thank you Ronit! This year, I really needed to keep those family traditions close to my heart!
This is such a lovely recipe! Happy holidays, dear Dorothy!
Thank you Dolly! May the light of the holidays shine on your home, and bring us a hopeful New Year!
Filled Holiday Mincemeat Cookies
On Saturday, December 19, 2020, The New Vintage Kitchen wrote:
> Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen posted: ” Mom’s recipe started in October > when we stripped the garden of its green tomatoes and made our own > micemeat. I still make this (now and then) when I want the house to smell > like my childhood home. Every year, mother and I made mincemeat with the > marve” >
What a delicious family tradition! Have never made my own mincemeat, or thought to use it in cookies. Thanks for the recipe.
You’re welcome Jama! I was glad to have a jar left from last year since we couldn’t get together this year. But it will make 2021 even more special!
What wonderful memories, and a grand tradition! My MIL used to make mincemeat pies for Thanksgiving, that’s the only time I’ve ever had it! I’m sure she didn’t make it though, it is so fascinating to learn the origins of food and it’s history…
Thank you Jenna, they really are wonderful memories. I’m sure green tomatoes weren’t the only surplus vegetable used in a mincemeat when times were difficult! With all the sugar and spices, one would never know!
I was looking for some inspiration on mincemeat…perfect timing!! they look delicious!
Ah thanks! They are quite tasty, and certainly say holiday to me!
Pockets of goodness that you temp us with here. 🙂 They look delicious.
Thank you! I love little surprises!
I believe you know how much I enjoy mincemeat so I know I would love your cookies.
Thank you Karen! I’m sure you would love these!!! Have a lovely, spicy holiday!
What a delightful post. Sounds delicious, too! 😋🌲🍪
Oh yes, my grandma used to do the same…she used to wrap the green tomatoes in newspaper and placed them in a box where they would slowly ripen 🍅 😍
These cookies must be super flavourful 😋😋
It is amazing, isn’t it, when you take them out of the dark weeks later and have a beautifully ripe fresh tomato!
Oh yes 🍅 😉
your mincemeat sounds wonderful. have a happy festive season.
Thank you so much Sherry, and you too have a safe and happy holiday!
Mincemeat cookie are new to me. They look yummy!🍮🍂🔔🍂🍮
Thank you! They are delicious.
How interesting and you’ve made me decide to make mincemeat for next year’s mince pies! I always used to make it but then fell out of the habit; I too use butter now, but I used to use suet. I’ve never had much luck with using green tomatoes – I made mincemeat one year with them, and to be honest it was rather horrid! Great post, thanks!
Thank you Lois! I’m so glad you will return to your recipe next year! Don’t you just love the way the house smells while it’s simmering?
Oh it’s the most marvellously Christmassy thing! It ‘s so cheering and really heralds family celebrations!
I’ve never tried filled cookies but your Mincemeat recipe looks so good! Could I fill the cookies with anything else if I wanted too?
Indeed! I’m planning on filling them with raspberry jam next time around!
Thanks for supplying a mincemeat cookie recipe! I made mincemeat this fall and I am in need of a cookie recipe. But not any more!
Great! I’m so glad I was able to fill the bill! I think you’ll love them!
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