This vintage cookie recipe dates back to the 1930s. Vintage Rocks Cookies are fast and easy to make and don't require any special equipment.
A large bowl and a spoon will work wonderfully well. After all, if it was good enough for grandma...
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions and complete ingredient measurements for making 1930's Vintage Rocks Cookies is available near the end of this post. OR click on the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
One bowl, one spoon, and one simple recipe. These rocks cookies are like taking a flavorful step back in time.
This is a recipe re-do from one I shared back in 2011. While the photos may have changed, the recipe has remained the same. I do hope you'll enjoy the flavor of friendship, and of a simpler time.
The ingredient list:
- brown sugar
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- ground cinnamon
Below is one of my original photos from 2011. I think that you'll agree, it wasn't the best, but at the time I thought I was "rockin' it!" LOL! Pun intended!
A step back in time about this recipe for vintage rocks cookies:
A while ago a twitter friend of mine, Michele of Funky Chunks Soap, sent me a fabulous vintage cookbook from her collection after she'd heard that I was starting my own vintage cookbook collection.
It was such a kind gesture that I sincerely hope she understands what her surprise gift in the mail meant to me.
Upon paging through the book, I ran across a small, warn slip of paper with a handwritten recipe that simply said "Rocks".
The directions were sparse as were the list of ingredients. I immediately knew I had to make these cookies as my tribute to this unknown woman whose spirit is now welcomed into my kitchen with open arms and our shared love of baking.
I'm going to assume that my new/old found friend is Ruth B. Maxwell of Miniwa, Ohio and this cookbook had been lovingly given to her by Grandma Leyda.
It's hard to see these names as they're written in faint pencil on the inside cover of the book, but they're there.
These two women, whom I've never had the pleasure of meeting, are now a part of my heart and home. I am grateful to have them grace my kitchen as I share with you their recipe for "Rocks".
I felt it only appropriate that I did it the old-fashioned way so I opted to use a large bowl and a wooden spoon instead of my modern Kitchenaid mixer.
I think Ruth and Grandma Leyda would have been pleased.
Having a decent knowledge of cookie baking, the fact that the recipe seemed to be missing a considerable amount of directions wasn't a deterrent for me at all so I forged ahead.
The only thing I did change however to the list of ingredients (if you know me, then you know I can't be stopped even if it means messing with history).
To the original recipe, I added a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Is it so wrong?
Want to know the health benefits of walnuts? Check out this article at Healthy Line.
Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for today’s 1930's Vintage Rocks Cookies.
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Printable Recipe Card
1930's Vintage Rocks Cookies
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and the brown sugar.
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon to the mixing bowl and stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Add the walnuts and raisins and mix well.
- Drop the batter by tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake in a preheated oven for 15-17 minutes.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Thank you so much for visiting me today in my Kudos Kitchen. I hope you found something you'll love and that you'll come back and visit me often. There is always room for you around my table!
Should you have any questions or comments regarding anything you've seen here on my blog, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to respond to you just as soon as I possibly can.
Martha Y says
I have my grandmother's Rock cookie recipe but it's pretty vague. I love them! Make them every Christmas. I thought she made up the name bc I've never found a recipe until now! They are the best!!
It's a funny name, but they do kind of look like rocks.
I'm glad you finally found a recipe. The recipe in the vintage cookbook was pretty vague too.
Funny how they used to write recipes back then, but since everyone pretty much knew how to cook,
they didn't have to be as step-by-step precise as they do now.
Enjoy the cookies!!
Cathrine Smith says
Ok so I tried your recipe but my mother—in-law who is 88 said I needed to add a teaspoon of cloves and nutmeg to them these were her favorite cookies growing up
Hi, Catherine! Next time you make them, add the cloves and nutmeg. I'm sure that would be delicious.
Enjoy your day,
Maureen Needham says
Yes, my grandmother’s original recipe has, 1/4 tsp cloves and 1 tsp cinnamon, very good cookie. Also says currents or raisins,
You're so fortunate to have your grandmother's actual recipe.
I like the addition of cloves. Sounds wonderful, and the currents would be a nice
replacement for the raisins.
Feel free to make this recipe you own.
Debra Kerns says
These are very similar to my great grandmother’s Rocks. (She would have been about 30 in the 1930’s) Her hand written recipe calls for 1 pound each dates, raisins, and walnuts. Other than that identical! Made hers today a wanted to see if they are still being made by others. They are!
Awesome, Debra! I appreciate you writing to let me know!
Take good care, and thanks for being here!
would love to have your recipe, my grandmother made rock cookies and always had dates, raisins and black walnuts. this sounds like hers.
Oh my goodness! I'm am such an airhead! Just realized that it was my fault that they weren't very buttery. I only put 1/2 cup of butter..hahahahha In that case, I will have to make these again the right way. I bet they are phenominal. 🙂
I have a few suggestions for these cookies. I think they need some salt and maybe something to make them more buttery...Some chocolate chips and cloves or some other spice might be good too. I liked that these weren't overly sweet. If I did put chocolate chips, I wouldn't put a whole lot. I imagine back in those days, they had fewer ingredients to use. Wish we could all go back to simpler times. Thank you for this recipe. It took my mind off the coronavirus for a little while. 🙂
Gail Giddings says
Thank you for posting this! I loved these cookies and I remember my grandmother making them. I loved that you hand mixed them. Maybe they're called rocks because of the fact that they kind of look like rocks, i.e., not uniform in shape and brownish? God bless.
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and rate this recipe, Gail. I'm thrilled that they brought back memories for you.
And I agree...they do look like rocks. LOL. Tasty rocks for sure! 🙂
God bless you as well!
Antoinette Vitrano says
So many memories. I have been eating these since I was a child and I still make them every Christmas. Only one change in my recipe. My grandmother and mother always used dates instead of raisins. Thanks for the memories.
My pleasure, Antionette! I think dates would be an excellent ingredient. Your grandmother was a smart lady!!
Have a wonderful day!
Jennifer Farley says
Delicious cookies! My husband couldn't get enough of them!
My husband feels the same way, Jennifer. Thanks!
Recipes with a fun story are my favorite thing!! These look so delicious, then & now!
I couldn't agree more! Thanks, Beth!!
Wonderful memories. I remember my mom boiling the raisins with just enough water to cover raisins. Reserving a small amount of liquid; drain; cool. Then add raisins and liquid to batter. They were the softest cookies ever. Delicious
That trick of rehydrating the raisins is great. I'll bet it makes these cookies even more plump and delicious. I'll have to try that next time. Thanks, Renee!
Kelley Smythe says
I have been looking for this recipe for yrs. My Nana made them and they were my favorite. I thought she called them rock cookies but no one else did. So I thought the recipe died with her. I made them and was so excite to find they tasted as I remembered. The one thing I changed was instead of raisins I put in currents.
Thank for the happy memory
I'm so glad this recipe brought back wonderful memories for you. Currents are a wonderful option. I'll have to try that next time.
Thanks for the idea, and thanks for your kind comment, Kelley! I appreciate it!!
John sprague says
Hi , my mother who was irish lovedto bake Xmas Rocks back in 50's - 70's! I loved them ! But they always
had cloves ,dates and walnuts . Thanks John upstate NY
I'm sure there are many variations for this recipe, just as there are many variations to many recipes.
Feel free to add cloves, dates, and walnuts. I'll never tell!
Nellie Tracy says
I am in love with Brown Butter flavor. These cookies will be a great hit at my house!
What's not to love, right? Thanks, Nellie!
I'm all about that brown butter and cinnamon! Cannot wait to dive into the kitchen and make up a batch of these - awesome!
If your house is anything like mine, they won't last long! Enjoy!!
Ahh, I love the thoughtful Heirloom Cookies you sent! Nothing beats an old cook book recipe!
that is just perfect for christmas. i would like to receive it.. as a gift.. 🙂 (heeee..heee....)
Oh my goodness I know EXACTLY what cookies you are talking about! My grandmother makes these cookies every year, a tradition that started way back in the 60's when her oldest two boys were in vietnam. She sent the rock cookies in the mail because they were the only cookies with enough hair on their chest to withstand the long voyage overseas. I have no clue why they're called rock cookies though, maybe because they're so hard to break?
What a lovely post for a great cookie recipe and a great cookie swap. I've read a lot of posts on the swap today and yours is the first that provided the link to register for notices for the swap next year. Thank you for that. I hope to be able to participate next year so I signed up.
Lucky the ladies who are getting your cookies this year 🙂
I love that these came from a vintage cookbook! They look so yummy! So glad you participated in the cookie swap. 😀
There's something extra special about hand mixed cookies - - it's almost like there's a little extra love in them 🙂 - - these look delicious. What a great recipe
awwww, this was so sweet(pun intended) the cookies looked delicious. i am going to try then veganized, I'll let know how they turn out.
oo those cookies look wonderful and oo that cookbook! I'd be in cookbook heaven with that! I love vintage cookbooks, and have quite a little collection that I started by shopping at our goodwill store. what a treasure! both the cookies and book!
Heather Mulholland says
Awww I love the story behind these 🙂 Now I wish I could eat walnuts lol