Saturday, December 1, 2007

Last Minute Visitor Cookies

A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a heavy envelope in the mail from my great aunt. She wrote to say she and my great uncle don't have a computer so my Dad had sent her a print out of an entry I had written about her mother, my great-grandmother. In the envelope there were some of my great-grandmother's hand written recipe cards, and my great aunt also wrote her memories of each of the recipes.

The one I'm sharing today is for Brown Sugar Cookies. My aunt wrote that they were "light little things" and that her "father enjoyed them with his coffee." They come together very quickly and use basic ingredients that most people have on hand.

They are also a great "last minute visitor cookie" because they are what is often referred to as an icebox cookie. That is, you make the dough and put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. The recipe said it makes three rolls, but I made four and they are good sized cookies. Though I can't say for sure, I think these will be fine baked from the freezer. I have two in my freezer now so I should know soon enough.

A little digression here...I made some icebox cookies years ago and had a roll of them waiting in the freezer for visitors. My parents unexpectedly dropped by when I wasn't home. My boyfriend baked the cookies and, no doubt, impressed them even though I had done all the hard work. I still married him.

Now, if you have a special classic recipe to share with me, you might just get a delivery like the one my aunt and uncle are about to get. (I also added some cashew brittle that I made this morning if you're wondering what else is in that tin.)

Brown Sugar Cookies

Adapted from a recipe card from my great-grandmother. You may be able to see from the card that the recipe is devoid of certain directions like how to bake them, so I made those parts up. She also suggested adding a "little more" butter which I did not do, but I'm sure that would make them even better. I used pecans but any nut you like would probably work here. Feel free to improvise; I think Grandma Reardon would like that.

1/4 cup boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup nuts
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour

Mix together the boiling water and baking soda. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, cream the sugars and butter. Mix in the eggs. Add the nuts and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the flour. Stir in the water and baking soda mixture.

Divide the dough into four equal portions. Roll about 1 1/2" thick. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for an hour or more.

Preheat the oven to 350. Slice and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes, until light brown. Baking time may be longer depending on how cold the dough is.


Rural Vegan said...

I love that you have your great grandmother's recipe cards! And these cookies must be good because the card has food splatter, the true mark of a good recipe! All of my grandmother's cards are also devoid of instructions most people would find necessary, I wonder why that is?

Lisa Kendrick said...

I've made cookies very similar to this before. They were my aunt's recipe. I love brown sugar, so these cookies are some of my favorites!

Classic cook said...

Rural--I know, they seem to cook so much more intuitively! Or they have instructions that don't make a lot of sense to people now.

Lisa--brown sugar makes everything better :)