Tag Archives: cookbook

Celebrate National Donut Day with Virginia Campbell’s Recipe!

What better time to share Virginia Campbell’s delicious recipe for homemade “Dough Nuts” and promo our upcoming publication of The Gilded Table Campbell cookbook and food history than on this most auspicious day of celebration – National Donut Day! Mrs. Campbell’s dough nuts look and taste a little different than the donuts you might pick up at the corner gas station (they look more like donut holes than donuts, actually), but they’re still a tasty way to start your day!


Virginia Campbell’s handwritten recipe for Dough Nuts. Don’t worry, we’ve got an updated recipe for you to go off of below.

Here’s her updated recipe, pulled from her ca. 1840 handwritten recipe book and revamped for modern kitchens by our cookbook author and food historian extraordinaire, Suzanne Corbett.

Dough Nuts: Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 cups whole milk, warmed to 125 degrees

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons dry yeast

5 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

zest of an orange

1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon rosewater

1 quart oil or lard for frying

1: Combine butter, milk and sugar.


Virginia Campbell’s Dough Nuts (pictured center). Also pictured are VC’s gingerbread and soft muffins recipes, all pulled directly from her handwritten recipe book and featured in Campbell House Museum’s upcoming publication of “The Gilded Table”.

2: Sprinkle in yeast and 1 cup of the flour.

3: Stir in salt, spices, vanilla and orange zest.

4: Stir in enough of the remaining flour a stiff dough.

5: Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface.

6: Knead dough until smooth or about five minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent it from sticking to work surface.

7:   Place dough in back into the mixing bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled.

8: Once dough has doubled punch the dough down and place back on a floured work surface.

9: Roll dough out to a about an inch thick; then cut into rounds.

10: Heat oil in a large saucepan to 400 degrees. Fry rounds in hot oil until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen 3-inch donuts.

*  Doughnuts, donuts or do nuts – as the spelling of these crisp fried pastries evolved so did their signature hole in the middle, which appeared in the mid-1800s. The hole was pinched in the center of the dough rounds to help eliminated the undercooked centers.  Like most 19th century doughnuts/donuts receipts instructions weren’t given to deep fry. Instead, one was instructed to “boil them in oil”.

The beautiful photo you see above was taken by Mr. Jim Corbett. Jim did all of the photography for our upcoming publication and we can’t wait to show off some of the other incredible images he captured!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

New Campbell House Courier: Hot off the Press!

Dining, discoveries, mysterious donors and new directions! Click below to read more about what the Campbell House crew has been up to so far in 2014, friends to whom we’ve said farewell, and some of the exciting projects and programs we have coming up in the latest edition of CHM’s seasonal newsletter.


New Campbell House Courier! Click to read/download the newest edition of CHM’s seasonal newsletter.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Pi Day from Campbell House!

Let there be great rejoicing throughout the land!  Pi Day (3.14) has arrived, and in honor of this most esteemed of mathematically-centric holidays, we have a little something special to share with you.  One of the crown jewels of the collection here at CHM is Virginia Campbell’s handwritten cookbook, with hundreds of recipes ranging from the delicious (Almond Sponge Cake and Baked Macaroni and Cheese) to the, uh… other stuff (Pickled Oysters and Mushroom Catsup).  So we thought it would be neat to share Virginia’s recipe for mincemeat pie filling, something you don’t see too much of these days.  You’ll have to come up with the pie crust yourself, but we’ll get you most of the way there.

Here’s the original handwritten recipe…


“Mince Meat” recipe in Virginia Campbell’s hand

As you might notice, her recipe calls for THREE POUNDS of beef suet and 12 apples.  In the interest of time and so you don’t end up with enough mincemeat to feed a small army, we cut the batch down for you and put in some helpful 21st century cooking terminology and techniques.  Also, for those of you wondering what exactly “suet” consists of, click here.  (hint: beef and mutton fat, yum!)

What a perfectly perfect mincemeat pie SHOULD look like...

What a perfectly perfect mincemeat pie SHOULD look like…


1 and 1/2 cups suet, finely chopped.
6 apples, cored and finely chopped
2 cups currants
2 cups raisins
1/4 cup chopped citron
3 lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon cloves
1/2 tablespoon allspice
11 and 1/2 cups brandy


  1. Using a food processor place the suet, apples into the bowl.  Pulse to combine together.
  2. Remove the suet/apple mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. (For a finder texture mince return to food processor and pulse until the desired texture is reached.)
  3. Tightly cover and refrigerate mincemeat for at least a week before using until ready to use in pies.  Will store refrigerated for up to six months.  Makes about 6 cups of mincemeat.

Many thanks to food historian and author Suzanne Corbett for putting the recipe in 21st century terms, keep an eye out over the next year as we publish a new, expanded edition of Virginia’s cookbook!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,