We are having a very Stanwyck Christmas here at Hollywood Kitchen!
Barbara Stanwyck remains one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood's Golden Age. She could tackle any genre from screw ball comedy ("Ball of Fire"), noir ("Double Indemnity"), drama ("Stella Dallas") and westerns ("The Furies"). Her two Christmas movies "Remember the Night" and "Christmas in Connecticut" are essential holiday viewing. The month of December felt like the perfect time to make her pastry recipe and talk about her life and extraordinary career which began in the 1920s and lasted until 1986.
The recipe comes from the book "Paul Denis' Celebrity Cook Book Recipes by Famous People" from 1952.
1 cup butter
1 pinch salt
Raspberry or apricot jam
1 cup cream cheese
1 tablespoon thick sour cream
2 cups flour
Combine ingredients and sift in 2 cups flour. Mix and knead until quite smooth. Gather up in ball, wrap in grease-proof paper and chill at least 3 hours in a refrigerator. Roll out very thin. Cut in 3 inch squares. Spread each square with 1 tablespoon raspberry or apricot jam. Roll squares from corner to corner, shaping into crescents. Lay on greased baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes in brisk oven. Let cool before serving. Makes about 24 pastries.
In the Christmas classic "Remember the Night", Barbara Stanwyck mentions her popovers and we whipped up a batch of those too! The recipe we used is from The Photoplay Cookbook of 1927 and was attributed to actress Dorothy Mackaill.
Mike Kaplan has one of the most extensive movie poster collections to reside in private hands. His collection of Barbara Stanwyck posters was on display at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for her centennial in 2007. His posters have been on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Kaplan worked as a film producer and marketing strategist crafting campaigns for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1970) and A Clockwork Orange (1971).
Danny Miller is a journalist, editor and film history expert. He also co-authored the book "About Face: The Life and Times of Dottie Ponedel: Make-up Artist to the Stars" with Meredith Ponedel. He's been very generous about letting me invade his 1909 Craftsman home to shoot this episode!
Lara Gabrielle is a writer and film historian. Her new book Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies from UC Press is slated for release in 2022. She writes book reviews, festival coverage, and pieces on the history, theory and culture of film on her blog Backlots.
The Final Result
The Kipfels and Popovers turned out to be fantastic! If you make them this holiday season (or anytime) feel free to tag us on social media. It is always fun to see what other people make.
Here's a freeze frame of my pancake flip. Lara and Danny were able to do it, but my attempt ended with the pancake on the floor.
"Remember the Night" and "Christmas in Connecticut" are shown frequently on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) during December and they are on DVD. They are gems!
These are just some of the fantastic Barbara Stanwyck films that are available.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Hollywood Kitchen!!