VINTAGE DOLCI came into being when I received an old, filled-to-the-brim recipe box from an estate sale from somewhere in the Midwest. It was filled with handwritten recipes and recipe clippings from old newspapers and I instantly fell in love with it. This represented the kitchen of someone’s mother, grandmother, or aunt and it was discarded by someone who didn’t need it, want it, or wasn’t sentimental about such things. As someone who likes to cook and loves to bake it was such a gem of a find. And it checked many of the boxes of things that make me happy: vintage, history, food-related, and it was filled with desserts.
You should know these things about me: Dessert is my thing. I will eat cake with breakfast. I dream of making cookies (yes, I do). I am not one of those girls who will apologize for eating the triple-layer chocolate cake at The Cheesecake Factory. I find the best part of Thanksgiving leftovers to be a piece of apple pie with my coffee the next morning. My family grew up with See’s candy and I can tell you about each piece in the box (Dark Bordeaux, with your creamy chocolate goodness and tiny chocolate sprinkles all over, I’m looking at you….). My mother makes homemade bear claws for Christmas and cream puffs filled with French Vanilla ice cream for New Year’s Day (I am convinced this love for dessert is genetic, but that’s a discussion for another day). I once worked in a chocolate store and probably should have gone to baking school. I’m lucky enough to have family and friends who put up with this quirkiness. I am also lucky enough to have family and friends who feel the same way ♥
I should also confess that wheat and I are not friends. NOT FRIENDS. My love of wheat and desserts is like the love between Voldemort and Harry Potter. If I eat too much it comes back to haunt me. Too much is not much, actually. This creates challenges when baking, usually followed by my not giving a damn and eating the wheat anyway. But I really should investigate more gluten-free desserts when the time presents itself. Does this stop me from buying cookbooks and filled vintage recipe boxes? Nope.
This first recipe box I received was filled with amazing vintage dessert recipes like butterscotch brownies, chocolate marshmallow loaf, zucchini nut loaf, and white fudge. Each successive box that I managed to get my hands on contained more desserts and my obsession was born. Plus, it was a great distraction from graduate school which I was getting frustrated with on a daily basis. The Vintage Dolci name came from the Italian word for sweets (Dolci). My fabulous and fluent-Italian speaking sister-in-law tells me that technically it would be called Dolci Vintage to remain true to the Italian sentence structure, but sometimes ~ as with recipes ~ you have to tweak things a bit.
VINTAGE RECIPES are the perfect snapshot of a moment in time in someone’s kitchen. The recipes we use and keep are a reflection of who we are, how we were, and how we fed our families. I couldn’t let these vintage recipes languish. Letting them go unused is kind of sad. Who wants to be responsible for the demise of Aunt Susie’s sour cream cookies or gingerbread? (And miss out on cookies with morning coffee? Fat chance).
So here you are. Feel free to bake with me. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes or to mess up. I mess up ALL the time. (Ask my husband about when I accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder in a normally to-die-for vintage cornbread recipe. Bitterly awful results. And I’ve done it 3x already)(And recently, Mae’s White Cake – a freakin’ disastrous result). I eat wheat and I shouldn’t. Let’s go down the path of curiosity, trial-&-error, fabulous results, historical interest, and debauchery together, shall we?