Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sugar Cookies and My Grandmother

A reposting.


My father's father was a baker (I had a butcher and a baker for grandfathers!), but my mother's mother was pretty good in the kitchen with both cooking and baking and one of her specialties was sugar cookies. My father has been cleaning out his garage and came upon the rolling pin in the photo below and gave it to me. This was the very rolling pin my grandmother used and the one I used when I helped her make cookies.

They weren't drop cookies which are what my chocolate chip cookies are (Joy of Cooking recipe). We'd roll out the dough, then use cookie cutters for the shapes. For the sugar cookies, that meant round. The topping was a mix of sugar, cinnamon, and chopped nuts, but because I don't like nuts and never have, my grandmother made a small mixing bowl's worth of nutless topping, so there were always at least a half dozen cookies just for me.

My grandmother, a follower of the "pinch of this, pinch of that" school of baking, never wrote down her recipes, which I assume came from her mother back in the "old country" (Ukraine). For a while after my grandmother died, my mother, sister, and I were on a hunt for a recipe that would match those cookies. One of my mother's friends had one that came close, but something about the dough tasted different. Maybe the missing ingredient was my grandmother.


  1. That was beautiful Shelly.

    My mum rarely ever writes down her recipes either, she's always used the "a pinch of this, a pinch of that" method.

    I'll bet the missing ingredient was your grandmother. I try to make recipes that my mom or grandmother made when I was little but it never tastes the same.

  2. Oh that's so moving for me, because my Mom always baked alot. She always had either her kids, or grandkids baking 'Tea cakes'. They were great!

    That rolling pin spurs up a wonderful story that I'll post sometime soon.

  3. I'm looking forward to that story, Aunt Jackie. Ah, the beauty of an old rolling pin!


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