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GREAT-GRANDMA’S COOKIE JAR
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Great-Grandma Charlotte was an outdoorsy farm gal, but she loved to cook and bake for her family. She had nine children of her own, and “a whole passel” of grandkids. My Dad remembered that his Grandma usually met him at the door with a fresh cookie, warm from the oven.
A family story was told about a country doctor that made a house call to care for one of her children. She had just taken a batch of her Date Cookies out of the oven. They smelled so good, the doctor hastily snatched one up and took a big bite. He burned his mouth quite badly.
Charlotte was almost 70 when my Dad was born, but that never slowed her enthusiasm for treating him to something sweet. She made these cookies for Dad back in the early 1920’s. And these are the same recipes she used while raising her own kids back in the late 1800’s.
Charlotte’s recipes were passed down to my Grandmother, and eventually were given to me. We still use them. Yes, they’re just that good!
CHARLOTTE’S SOUR CREAM SUGAR COOKIES
3 to 4 cups Flour
1 cup Lard (You can substitute 1 1/4 cups Butter)
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (or Lemon Extract)
Nuts, chopped dates, or raisins may be added, if desired. (Otherwise, leave them plain.)
Put flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add all the ingredients. Mix all together. More flour may be needed to roll out the dough. Roll, and cut with a cookie cutter. Bake on a greased baking sheet.
NOTE: The amount of flour you’ll need depends on the amount of moisture that is in the air at the time. If you add too much flour, just mix in a little milk.
Like most old recipes, they don’t give time or temperature. I use 350 degrees, and after about 7 minutes, I start to watch them closely “till done.” Everyone’s oven heats differently, so the bake time might vary.
My Dad couldn’t remember Grandma ever adding nuts or fruit. She just left them plain, and sprinkled a bit of sugar on each cookie prior to baking. Or even a dusting of cinnamon. Frosting (and decorating) is optional.
RELATED POST: From my friend Cathy at Original Homesteading: BEST EVERYTHING COOKIE RECIPE – PEANUT BUTTER, OATMEAL, COCONUT
CHARLOTTE’S DATE-FILLED COOKIES
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Milk
3 1/2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
A little more flour may be needed to roll the dough thin. Cut with a round cookie cutter. Place a teaspoon of filling on each. Put another cookie on top and press the edges together. Make a tiny hole in the top of the cookie to let the steam escape. Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees. Start watching them carefully after about 7 minutes.
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1 cup chopped Dates
1 teaspoon Flour
(Raisins or figs may be used instead of dates.) Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Cool before putting this on the cookie dough.
HAPPY BAKING! Susan