The first thing to remember is that this is a sticky dough. Refrigerating the dough for at least 2 hours makes it manageable, so there’s no reason to get all excited and preheat the oven when you crack the eggs…
The happy ingredients:
In a large bowl ( and I mean Large bowl) cream together:
1 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 1/2 to 6 cups flour
2 cups canned milk
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans * optional (Okay I have a confession: I don’t love nuts in these cookies so I make them in stages and add nuts for those in the fam who love nuts or are nutty…)
Remember, the dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 2 hours. I always tell my girls to do a test batch of cookies when they start baking, just to see how the shape holds. If you feel like it needs more flour, toss it in!
I’ve never been successful using a cookie scoop with these cookies. I always use either two spoons or a spoon and knife. This would be called the “old-fashioned” way of shaping cookie dough. This is how we did it in the old days. My momma taught me that.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and drop cookies onto parchment-covered cookie sheet or greased cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the top springs back when you tap it carefully with your finger, avoiding burning yourself. Come on and try it. If grandma could manage this in an old coal stove 80 years ago I think you can do it! If you can’t handle that do the standard insertion of a toothpick coming out mostly clean. You are baking the equivalent of a mini-cake here. Some of mine will turn out flattish and some will turn out nice and rounded. Either way they will melt in your mouth and flood your mind with a million happy memories.
Cool 2 minutes on a cookie sheet before moving to them to a cooling rack, or as grandma did; a dry, clean dish towel.
Frost with vanilla frosting of your choice. Grandma Reba’s recipe is below. I always use her recipe when I make these cookies, flour and all. 🙂 There are some things you just don’t mess with. You will want to frost them while they are still slightly warm so that the frosting sort of runs down the sides just a bit. Sprinkle them with chopped walnuts if you love walnuts.
Share a few… because that’s what your grandmother would do.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 cups canned milk
- 5½ to 6 cups flour (sometimes even more if it is humid)
- *optional chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 square butter softened
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1½ package powdered sugar
- canned milk to desired consistency
- Cream together sugar and shortening. Add salt, soda, vanilla and eggs just until blended. Carefully incorporate flour and milk. Add chopped nuts if desired and reserve a few for sprinkling on the top of the cookies if you are nutty. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically to make sure that you the dough has mixed up nice and even. Refrigerate overnight or at least two hours.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees until the edges brown and the top of the cookie springs back when touched.
- Cool until just slightly warm and frost with vanilla frosting. Top with chopped nuts as desired.
There you have it….a memory.