Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ada Roe's Sugar Cookies

A lovely friend of mine badly needs distracting; because I am a bit frantic right now between preparing to leave for nephew Al's senior Voila Recital at Indiana U and trying to have things in order to be a vendor at Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival soon after returning from IU, am reaching into my past. This is a recipe written out for nephews many years ago. A little family history, a lot of yummy.

Soft Sugar Cookies

During her prime and until she no longer had the energy to make such a big batch of roll out cookies these big puffy sugar topped cookies were a staple at my grandmother Nellie’s house. These are a “Traditional Family” recipe, Ada Roe, my grandpa Edward Roe's mother, taught Nellie to make them.

The recipe as Grandma wrote it out for me:

2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter or oleo
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp soda in buttermilk
2 tsp soda in the flour
5 cups flour
1 scant tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 eggs

Beat eggs and add sugar, lard, nutmeg and salt together. Add 2 tsp of soda to 3 cups flour and add to first mixture. Add remaining 2 cups flour, alternating with buttermilk & soda combination, mix well. Chill a while in refrig, roll out and cut.

Bake in 450 degree oven about 12 minutes.

P.S. Sometimes I put in a tsp of vanilla or lemon too. Ovens vary as you probably know so go according to yours.

---Jane’s note - My cookie cutter is some smaller than Ada Roe’s. In my oven a 2” diameter raw cookie on a regular metal cookie sheet takes 10-11 minutes at 400degrees for a pale soft - not crisp and brown - cookie

also we use crisco instead of lard

one of Frank’s variations is to use orange peel instead of nutmeg and orange flavoring with a pecan in the center of the cookie - this is tasty

but nothing quite beats the traditional no flavoring and nutmeg only cookie IMHO


Dawn said...

I'd like to try your recipe. It sounds like the bakery cookies my grandma used to buy. I'm a bit confused about the shortening though. It says butter or oleo (I wonder if kids will realize this is margarine?)then mentions lard in the instructions and you say you use shortening. I prefer to use butter as I don't use enough Crisco to keep it fresh. Do you think it will work?

Glorious Hats said...

Hi Dawn -

The recipe is exactly as my grandma wrote it out - and had not changed it.

yep the butter ought to work fine.

The original Ada Roe recipe used rendered lard as that is what they had on the farm for cooking back in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

My grandma, Nellie edited the ingredient list changing the "lard" to butter or oleo- (in those days the name for margarine was oleo-margarine and she called it oleo.

Glad you brought it up, for clarification.

The cookies raise a bit, then fall slightly when cool. But are a fat soft sugar cookie.

Butter should work fine. May be a bit flatter with butter.


Dawn said...

Thanks, I will try them. Both my grandmas called margarine oleo.

Eileen said...

If you used almond extract and nutmeg/cinnamon on top, this sounds a bit like a snickerdoodle recipe.

The Crisco/butter/oleo debate made me think back to my first experience baking cookies when I was a girl. We were told in school that we should bring a treat for everyone in class, and my mom wasn't home that day for some reason, so I decided to bake some cookies. So I looked up my mom's recipe, which used Crisco as the fat... but I couldn't find the Crisco, so I used margarine instead.

Well, those cookies were as flat and greasy as you could possibly imagine without completely just running right off the pan in liquid form! Crisco and margarine evidently are not equivalent in equal measures, at least as far as some cookies are concerned! I was SO ashamed of those poor puddly things... mom came home to find me crying over them, sure that I was going to be banned from class forever for trying to poison my classmates.

There are times when Oreos cover a multitude of sins...

Sharon said...

This recipe sounds wonderful! Different than most Sugar Cookies. I will definitely give them a try :) Thanks for sharing!

Have a blessed weekend!