The other day I decided to make cookies. And, boy did I make cookies. I have a friend (ahem, let’s just call her “j”) who loves iced sugar cookies. Well, mainly the icing. In any case, I decided sugar cookies were to be made. But, I also wanted to make something else. Which led me to the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that my grandmother has been making forever. It never fails that whenever anyone heads over to visit, she’s got these cookies on hand. That, in a nutshell, is the story of how I came to make cookies. The mountains of cookies part comes in purely because I have an irrational fear of not making enough baked goods to share. So I doubled the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe and ended up choosing a sugar cookie recipe that was undoubtedly doubled at some point in the past. The end result – hundreds of cookies covering every counter surface in my kitchen.
Technically the sugar cookies were supposed to be rolled out and then cut out. Not owning a rolling pin, I usually use an empty wine bottle to roll out these kind of things. But, I had no wine bottle, empty or otherwise on hand. So, after trying and failing to roll it out with a can of tomato sauce (not a good idea. the can crushed. oops.), I opted to roll the dough into balls and then press the balls down with the bottom of a cup. The perfect solution.
As for the icing…as far as I’m concerned sugar cookie icing should be as simple as possible. Forget corn syrup or butter. Straight powdered sugar and milk are all you need. There isn’t a real recipe here. Just mix some milk into icing sugar until you have icing that is relatively stiff, but still soft enough to spread itself out once you spread it on the cookies. If you want to get really fancy you can add vanilla and/or food colouring. I was too lazy to head to the store just to pick up food colouring, so white icing it was (fearing that adding vanilla would lead to an odd colour icing I left it out and they tasted fine).
Faced with piles and piles and piles of cookies I decided to ship some to family and friends in Manitoba. Two boxes headed off in that direction (still waiting to hear if they survived the trip – fingers crossed!). But that was certainly not the end of the cookies. I also put together 9 bags of cookies that I gave away to friends, a big bag of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that I brought to one of my classes to share, and a container of sugar cookies that I brought to an event. It only took 48 hours and the cookies were gone. Thank goodness. I have to admit I was feeling slightly overwhelmed by the number of cookies I’d managed to produce.
While I got the sugar cookie recipe off of allrecipes, the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe comes via my grandmother who, I am fairly certain, got the recipe off a box of tenderflake lard (I used crisco vegetable shortening to make sure the recipe was vegetarian friendly). As you might suspect, the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies could very well kill you in large quantities. Eat sparingly.
Grandma’s Tendercrisp Cookies
1 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 cup chocolate chips, (minis)
2 cups rolled oats
– preheat oven to 350˚
– sift flour, baking soda and salt together
– cream shortening and sugars together with an electric mixer until fluffy
– mix in eggs, hot water and vanilla
– blend in dry ingredients by hand, including nuts, chocolate chips and rolled oats
– using a teaspoon drop cookies onto greased cookie sheet (cookies will be bite size)
– bake for 8-10 minutes or until delicately browned
– makes 50-60 cookies
Note: My grandmother usually leaves out the nuts. Recipe can be easily doubled.*
*warning: doubling the recipe will lead to mountains of cookies