Monday, May 27, 2013


The journey begins! I'm both excited and nervous, but I started with an easy one (or, what I thought would be easy!). I figured starting with a cookie recipe would help break the ice - I'm no stranger to cookie-making and who doesn't love fresh-baked cookies?

The problem? I let my son choose. Out of all the cookie recipes he could pick, he chose one simply labeled "Cookies". Not all that revealing.

I got all the ingredients out, measured and was ready to get underway. A miracle happened and I actually thought to preheat the oven while I was preparing, only:
1. The recipe did not indicate a temperature to bake at.
2. The recipe did not indicate how long to bake for.

So, I referenced the good ol' Settlement Cookbook (The way to a man's heart. No, seriously, that's the title)

Most of the cookies with the same basic ingredients cooked at around 375. Sounded good to me!

The Recipe Card:
It's a list of ingredients. Plain and simple.

I thought to myself, "how does anyone bake a plate of cookies with recipes like this?". But then I realized that people were (and I'm sure there are a lot who still are) more competent in the kitchen 'back then'. In fact, I remember grandma often making cookies without even referencing a recipe. My other grandmother is the same - Go ahead, ask her for her Cinnamon Roll recipe. I just hope you know how much "a pinch" means, and don't forget to stop adding flour when it looks "about right".

I need a bit more to go on than quantities and ingredients.

The Process:
With little direction, I went with what I typically tend to do - dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in the other, combine.

Then I get to this part of the recipe where it says "Date or Raising Filling". I'm not sure if that's for these cookies or another recipe altogether! I've never heard of a cookie having a 'filling'. At this point, I'm about to abandon ship. But seriously, how boring would these cookies be without something in there.

I press on, only slightly concerned about how I'm going to get another 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar into the mix, with a pound of raisins!

Turns out this batter is surprisingly moist. I'm sure that has nothing at all to do with the 3/4 cup of Shortening and 3/4 cup of Butter.

Again, no mention of the pan and whether it's to greased or not. Seeing as it has 3/4 cup of Shortening and 3/4 cup of Butter, it probably didn't, but I gave it a good coat anyways, just to be on the safe side :)

In the oven they go. Then I set my timer (also know as Jack).

Done and done. And delicious.

The Recipe:

3/4 cup Shortening
3/4 cup Butter
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
4 cups Flour (about)
1 tsp Soda
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Milk

Date or Raisin Filling
1 lbs Date
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

That's it folks, no instructions here. I've made some notes below.

My Personal Notes:

  • This recipe yielded approximate 7 dozen. I suspect had my cookies been uniform, it would have been 8 dozen, but some of them got a little out of control.
  • Fail-safe of 375 for 8 minutes was perfection
  • For the Brown Sugar, I did not pack it when I measured. 
  • The "(about)" beside the amount of flour frightened me. I used 4 cups exactly.
  • Mixing the 'extra' brown sugar with the raisins is genius. I always have trouble getting raisins to stick to the rest of the dough when I fold them in, but the Brown Sugar coats them and helps them "cling", for lack of a better word. 

Absolutely my go-to cookie recipe now! Any sort of combination of fruit/sweets/nuts would be amazing in these bad boys.

And... I've eaten about 6 of them tonight alone.

So glad I was able to share this recipe with you!


1 comment:

  1. Tara, this blog is such a wonderful tribute to your Grandmother! And it's so generous of you to share her recipes with us. I have a very old church cookbook that one of my husband's aunts gave to me many years ago. The recipe for banana bread, which I've used for years, says "bake in a slow oven". Like you, I looked at similar recipes and decided on 325 degrees. Both my Mom and Mother-in-law used the pinch of this and "til it looks right" description when giving me recipes!
    Anyway....I'm enjoying this new blog of yours. And, I love your blog header. Great job Tara!