Sugar Cookies – A Bonus Recipe

Cookies 073 Wendy and I realized something the other day.  We never made “Christmas cookies” over Christmas.  We made lots of cookies, but for some reason (maybe it had to with family members taking turns being sick through most of the season and therefore never having time), we never made the traditional roll out, cut into shapes and frost kind of Christmas cookies.  So, we decided we definitely needed to make Valentine cookies this year.  One day when she and my nephews were over, we pulled up our sleeves and started in on some fun. Cookies 072 I always like to pull this recipe out for roll out sugar cookies.  I actually got it in junior high or high school in a home economics class.  I remember very little about those classes, but I have always kept this recipe.  I remember one time when our neighbor who had moved away came back for a visit.  I was always making these cookies when I first got this recipe and so I made them for her.  She took one bite and said, “These are just like cookies from a bakery!”  I’ve never forgotten she said that and I always think fondly of her (and her comment) when I make this recipe. Cookies 066 Sugar Cookies

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar and vanilla.  Add egg;  beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in milk.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Blend into creamed mixture.  Divide dough in half.  Chill 1 hour.  On lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut in desired shapes with cutters.  Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 6-8 minutes.  Cool slightly;  remove from pan.  Makes 2 dozen. Cookies 001 To begin, I put the shortening, sugar and vanilla in the KitchenAid. Cookies 002 I creamed the three ingredients. Cookies 003 I then added the egg (I actually doubled the recipe, so I had two). Cookies 004 I beat the ingredients until they were light and fluffy.  I then stirred in the milk. Cookies 005 Next I combined the dry ingredients and blended them into the creamed mixture.  I chilled the dough for an hour or more. Cookies 008 Then, with the help of my nephews and sister, we rolled out the dough and began cutting shapes. Cookies 011 We baked the cookies at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.  They always smell so good when they are baking. Cookies 076 Next came the fun of frosting and decorating.  My sister had brought her collection of sprinkles, so we all had fun putting our own finishing touches on our cookies.

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My nephews wanted to decorate the snowflake cookies.

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They were very generous with the sprinkles!

Cookies 075 This is a recipe I highly recommend.  You just can’t go wrong with these.  So, pull your family together and have some festive Valentine’s Day fun together! Cookies 074 Happy Baking! Amy Cookies 053 Cookies 054 Cookies 055 Cookies 052 Cookies 034 Cookies 044 Cookies 048 Cookies 043

Butterscotch Cookies

Grandpa and Grandpa Wichterman and Kado

My grandparents and their dog on a walk.

My dad told me a story about a summer day when he was about 7 or 8 years old.  He wanted his mom to go for a walk with him over to the 80 acres of land they owned (this land was separate from their farm – down the road, so he couldn’t go there by himself).  She was swamped with kitchen and garden work that day (as she often was).  He kept begging her to go for a walk and she kept resisting as she knew she had so much to get done.  But finally, she agreed to go.  They walked for about an hour down the lane and past the pond.  They picked flowers and spent the time together.  My dad still remembers this as an example of how kind and caring his mom was.  She gave him the gift of her time when it cost her to give it.

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I found this recipe for butterscotch cookies in Grandma Dora’s recipe box.  It appears to have been cut out from a newspaper.  My grandma also sacrificed her time by making all kinds of sweets for her family when she had other work to get done.  My dad and uncle probably ate many of these along with the other treats their mom continually made them.

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Butterscotch Cookies

  • 4 cups sifted enriched flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Sift together flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt.  Cream together butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla extract.  Beat well.  Add flour mixture to creamed mixture.  Add nuts and mix well.  Shape into rolls and wrap in wax paper or press into cookie molds.  Chill until very firm.  Slice thin and bake on ungreased baking sheets in moderately hot oven (400 degrees F) 8 to 10 minutes.  Yield:  about 6 dozen 2-inch cookies.

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These cookies were pretty simple to make.  First, I stirred the flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt together with a whisk.

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Then I creamed the butter and sugar together.

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Next, I add the eggs and vanilla.

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The flour mixture was put in next and then the nuts (I used walnuts).

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I took the dough and made it into a roll (I made half a recipe, so I only made one roll.  If you make the whole recipe, you would probably want to make two rolls.).

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I then wrapped it in wax paper and refrigerated it for a couple of hours.

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I cut them, and put them on ungreased baking sheets.

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I baked them in a 400 degree oven.  The recipe said to bake them for 8-10 minutes.  I found that 6-7 minutes was long enough.

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These cookies turned out delicate, crisp and delicious!  Everyone who ate them raved about them!  I was very happy with how they turned out!  I hope you give them a try!

Happy Baking!  Amy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – A Bonus Recipe

Grandma and Becky

Grandma Dora pulling my sister in a wagon on a snowy day. Maybe she couldn’t resist being out in the snow either.

The snow is perfect right now.  It has been for days and I can’t seem to keep myself from going outside.  I know I have work to do inside, but when I look out at the snow sparkling in the sunlight, I just can’t resist.  I’ve been cross country skiing or sledding with my friends and family (and even by myself when no one else was available to go) almost every day this week.

So, I honestly haven’t taken a lot of time to bake this week, but when I did bake, I decided to go with my all time favorite.  I’ve made a lot of cookies in my day.  In fact, I’ve made a lot of chocolate chip cookies.  But, this is the one cookie recipe that I always come back to.  It is simply the best.  How could you go wrong with the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal?  Well, I’ll tell you – you can’t go wrong.  Just like the snow that’s on the ground right now, it’s perfect.

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My sister and my nephews are coming over today while my brother-in-law goes with some of his friends to the car show in Detroit.  I decided I would make them some chocolate chip cookies for a treat when they came.  But, not just any chocolate chip cookies – peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars;  beat in peanut butter, egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt;  stir into the creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 1 minute before removing to a wire rack.  Yield:  2 dozen.

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First I creamed the butter and sugar together.

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Then I beat in the peanut butter, egg and vanilla.

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Next, I combined the flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt.  (My sister likes to blend up the oatmeal before she adds it.  It changes the texture and is very good too.)

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I stirred the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until I had a nice cookie dough.

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Next came the chocolate chips.  Doesn’t it look good enough to eat?

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After that I rolled it into balls and put it on the cookie sheets.

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I baked them at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  They turned a lovely golden brown.  I cooled them for a minute, then moved them onto a wire rack.  They smelled delicious!

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I’m sure that when my sister and nephews get here, I’ll try to coax them outside to play in the snow.  And, maybe when we come inside all wet and cold and happy, we’ll have a snack of milk and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  You just can’t go wrong with these cookies.  They are simply the best of the best!  You really have to try them!

Happy Baking!

Amy

Almond Crescents

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My family was talking about going Christmas caroling, so I decided to make some cookies that we could pass out to the people we caroled to.  When I first found this recipe in Grandma Dora’s recipe box, it stuck out because it was written on a piece of stationary rather than an index card and it was written with beautiful handwriting.  When I looked at the recipe, I noticed it was made with just a few simple ingredients.

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Almond Crescents

Mix together thoroughly . . .

  • 1 cup soft shortening (or 1/2 butter)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup ground blanched almonds (or mixed nuts)

Sift together and work in. . .

  • 1 2/3 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Chill dough.  Roll with hands pencil thick.  Cut in 2 1/2 inch lengths.  Form into crescents on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until set. . . not brown in a 325 degree oven for 14-16 minutes.  Cool on pan.  While slightly warm, carefully dip in 1 cup confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed.  Makes about 5 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies.

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To begin with, I ground up the almonds.

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I then put the ground up almonds in the kitchen aid with the sugar, shortening and butter.

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I mixed these ingredients thoroughly.

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I then worked in the flour and salt.  After they were well combined into the dough, I set the dough in the refrigerator to chill.

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Next I rolled the dough until it was pencil thick and cut it into 2 1/2 inch lengths.  This was a little tricky to get the hang of, but by the end I had it down to a system.

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I then formed the 2 1/2 inch lengths into crescent shapes and placed them on ungreased baking sheets.  I baked them for about 16 minutes at 325 degrees.

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I let them cool slightly on the pan and then carefully (and carefully was the key word because they were very delicate and broke easily) dipped them in confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon.

In the end, my brother-in-law and I both ended up getting sick and the Christmas caroling never happened.  So, we had to keep the cookies for ourselves. (-:  (I did take another batch I was making for caroling to some of our neighbors.)

I really like how these cookies taste.  They have a very sophisticated look and flavor.  I think if I made them again, I might bypass the crescent shape and just make them in balls.  This would really make the whole process very simple.  But, whichever way you make them, they are definitely a nice addition to your Christmas celebration!

Happy Baking!  Amy

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Mrs. Luce’s White Cookies

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The Luces were good friends of my grandparents.  My dad said he remembers that, like his own mom, Mrs. Luce was a wonderful baker.  Each year, to help with the income, she spent time baking up homemade goods and taking them to the local farmer’s market to sell.  I’m sure this is part of what made she and Grandma Dora such good friends. They shared a love for baking.  They enjoyed talking about recipes, tips and other baking secrets throughout their many years of friendship.

I actually remember as a child, going to visit Mr. and Mrs. Luce.  We drove out in the country to their home.  We ate treats, made by Mrs. Luce but, what I remember the most is that Mr. Luce gave my sisters and brother and I each a shiny half-dollar.  I treasured that half-dollar for many years.  Actually, I still have it in my drawer of special things that I collected as I grew up.

As I was looking through my Grandma Dora’s recipe box, I found a recipe, Mrs. Luce’s White Cookies.  I recognized Mrs. Luce’s name and had even met her, so it made baking the cookies even more fun.

ML White Cookies Recipe

 Mrs. Luce’s White Cookies 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup thick sour milk
  • 1 cup lard, full and rounded above cup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 cups flour

Cream sugar, lard (shortening) and eggs.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add a little at a time to creamed mixture, alternating with the sour milk until incorporated.  Add vanilla.  Roll into balls and roll in sugar.  Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

ML White Cookies Creamed2I began creaming the sugar, shortening and eggs.

ML White Cookies CreamedThen I alternated adding the dry ingredients mixture and the soured milk.  The recipe says that the soured milk should be “thick.”  So I added two tablespoons of lemon juice before I filled the measuring cup with milk.  I let it set as long as possible before I used it so it would be as “thick” as possible.  Then I added the vanilla.

ML White Cookies DoughThe recipe simply called for “flour.”  It’s always hard to judge what that means.  After putting in three cups though, it looked more like cake batter consistency.  I ended up using five cups before it looked like cookie dough!

ML White Cookies Dough BallsThis recipe also didn’t say if the cookies should be rolled out or rolled into balls.  Rolling out the dough sounded like a lot of work, so I opted for rolling the dough into balls instead.  Then I rolled the balls in a bit of sugar for a little sparkle.  For Christmas, you could roll them in green or red sugar to make them look fun and festive!

ML White Cookies5The cookies baked for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  It seemed like just the right amount of time.  I let the cookies rest on the trays for about 1 minute before transferring them to the cooling rack.  While I didn’t frost them, I do think they would be extra good with icing!

ML White CookiesMrs. Luce’s White Cookies were very simple to make.  They reminded me of something that would be served at a tea party.  They are a light cookie, different from regular sugar cookies.  I compared them to a soft, sweetened biscuit.  Have fun making Mrs. Luce’s White Cookies, and enjoy them with a cup of hot tea this Christmas season!

Happy Baking!

Wendy

Molasses Cookies

My Grandma Dora loved to bake.  At least everyone assumed she loved to bake because she was always baking.  I think what she really loved was making her family happy by baking.

G and G's house '72 or '73

The back yard at the “brown house.” If you look carefully, you can see the clotheslines on the other side of the garden.

She had many chores to do and each task took much longer than it does for us nowadays.  Take the laundry for instance.  My dad said that she did her laundry with a ringer washer.  My grandpa would heat the water on the wood stove in the kitchen and put it into a galvanized tub that went with the washer.  My grandma would put the clothes and soap in the tub.  There was an agitator that would move the clothes around.  When it was done washing, she would run each piece of clothing one at a time between two ringers that would squeeze the water out of the clothes.  They then went into a clean tub of water to rinse them.  Then, they would have to go through the ringer again to get the rinse water out.  In the winter, she would either hang them up on lines hung across the dining room or outside.  When she hung them outside, they would freeze and get stiff like boards.  My dad said she did the wash, every Monday morning.

Between all of the chores however, she always managed to find time to keep the cookies coming.  One of the cookies my dad often lists off from his mother’s baking list is molasses cookies.

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Her recipe was typed out simply.  I’m sure she knew all of the steps to make the cookies and she figured out the amount of flour just by watching the consistency of the dough, so she didn’t need to write it down on her recipe card.

Molasses Cookies

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 cup lard;  fill the cup within 1/2 inch of the top and then fill it up with cold water
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups flour

Cream together lard (or shortening) and sugar.  Add eggs and molasses and mix well.  Combine flour, soda, ginger and salt.  Add into the wet ingredients until dough is formed.  Roll into balls and bake in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.  If desired, dough can be rolled in powdered sugar before baking.

I didn’t have much to go on with this recipe, but I decided to start and I would figure out the details as I went.  I didn’t have any lard, so I replaced it with shortening.

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I combined the shortening with the sugar and creamed them together in the Kitchenaid.

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I then added the eggs and molasses.

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Next, I combined the dry ingredients and then added them to the wet.  I wasn’t sure how much flour to put in, so I started with three cups.  The batter looked more like brownie batter than cookie dough, so I added another cup of flour.  Then, it seemed just right.

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I rolled the cookies into balls.  Some of them I left plain and some I rolled in powdered sugar just for fun.  Later on, after the cookies were all made, my dad said my grandma usually rolled this dough out with a rolling pin and then used a round cookie cutter to make them into large, round cookies.  They turned out fine as drop cookies too, so either way would work.

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After I put the dough on the trays, I was ready to put them in the oven.  The recipe didn’t have an oven temperature or a time to bake.

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I decided on 350 degrees and I found that 10-12 minutes seemed to be just the right time.

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My dad said they tasted just like he remembered.  I was glad to hear that.  So, if you’re looking for some old fashioned flavor this Christmas season, I recommend you give these molasses cookies a try.

Molasses Cookies

Happy Baking!

Amy

 

 

Peanut Butter No-Bakes – A Bonus Recipe

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Christmas time is coming!  With that comes cookie baking.  We’ve already made quite a few cookie recipes from our grandmother’s recipe box:  Mrs. Eisenhower’s sugar cookies, drop nut cookies, chocolate chip cookies, Louise’s oatmeal drop cookies, Lucille’s shortbread cookies, ice box cookies, and hermit cookies.  But, since it is Christmas time, you can’t have too many cookie recipes, so here’s another one – peanut butter no bake cookies!  This is the first cookie recipe we have put on that is a bonus recipe, not from our grandmother’s recipe box.  A friend gave this recipe to us and I just have to share it because it is so simple to make and so good to eat!

Peanut Butter No-Bakes

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (do not use natural)
  • up to 3 cups quick oats

In a saucepan heat brown sugar, butter and milk.  Stir every so often.  Let come to a boil.  Boil without stirring for 3 minutes exactly.  Remove from heat and add peanut butter and oats (You may not need all of the oats.  Stir the last cup in slowly so it doesn’t get too dry.).  Spoon onto wax paper.  Let cool.

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The recipe has very few ingredients and very few steps – what’s not to like about that?  First, I put the brown sugar, butter and milk in a pan and let it cook, stirring on occasion until it boiled.  Once it boiled, I set the timer for three minutes and let it go without stirring until the timer went off.

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Then, I took the pan off of the burner and put in the peanut butter that I had measured ahead of time.  I stirred it around a little until it melted and then added the quick oats.

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I ended up using all three cups, but a little less would have been okay too.

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I then spooned the batter out onto wax paper and let it cool – and there they were, done and ready to enjoy!  After they were cooled all the way, I stuck them in the freezer so I can pull them out when friends and family are visiting.

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So, if you’re short on time, but want a cookie that tastes like you spent a lot of time, I think these are the ones you should try.  You won’t be disappointed!

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Happy Cookie Making!

Amy