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Here's a chronicle of life on a plot of land right smack in the suburbs in Minnesota, whose owners would much prefer to be in the middle of nowhere.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My grandma's Amish cookies

My grandma was (well, is) the kind of grandma who had a jar (or, more accurately, a giant, green Tupperware container with a ridged lid) of cookies on her counter for hungry little hands to place into hungry little mouths. Her standards were chocolate chip cookies and these "Amish" cookies, which are flaky, tender sugar cookies. She would use a glass to press the cookies down, leaving a starburst shape on each.

But now, it's the end of an era. Really, the era's been gone for awhile, because my grandma hasn't been baking like she used to, but now it seems the door is officially closed. My grandma has moved out of her house, which has now been sold, and her stuff has moved out as well. My mom hauled a bag of goods to my house, and this bag included two cookie stamps—one of a bunch of tulips and another of the sort of owl that was retro before it was cool. In retrospect, I wish I would've told my mom I wanted one of those glasses. The cookie stamps are nice, and since there are two of them, my older kids could do the stamping without any arguments, but they just aren't the same.

Since I'm a sucker for old-fashioned recipes, I'll reproduce it as she wrote down on a recipe card long ago. The "double it and share" suggestion always gives me a chuckle. I did exactly that the first time I made the cookies, and it was certainly a batch that was worthy of that underlined "a lot."

I did not have margarine in the house, so I used butter. They would be better with margarine, since it lends a lightness. Shortening might do this, as well, but might not have the right flavor. (But, go ahead, use butter-flavored Crisco. I won't judge.) I baked these at 350 degrees until they just barely started to brown at the edges.

My Grandma's Amish Cookies

Beat 2 eggs and set aside.
Beat 1 c. oil and 1 c. margarine, 1 c. powdered sugar, 1 c. white sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. soda, 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar. Add eggs and 4 1/2 c flour. Cool. Roll into balls and press with cookie stamp or sugared glass. Makes a nice sized batch. Double it and share. It makes a lot.

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