Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Sugar Cookies #4 and Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwiches

Today’s recipe for Sugar Cookies #4 is going to serve two purposes (yes – this is the 4th recipe for plain sugar cookies I’ve done on this blog). One – they’re just downright delicious as a cookie. Two – we’re going to make ice cream sandwiches out of them! Yes! You heard me. Even better – since the holiday is coming up – we’re going to make them festive for the 4th of July!

The 4th of July was always a big deal for my family. Grandma and Grandpa’s church always had a “Homecoming” on the 4th of July, where people who had grown up in that small town (technically my mom’s hometown) would come home for a good old-fashioned small town 4th celebration. There would be a big lunch at the church and park in town, where the church would furnish the fried chicken or some other delicious main dish along with the rest of the meal, and the church ladies would all bring their Ost Kaka and pies for dessert. Then in the afternoon there would be a program of some kind: singing, bands, or readings. My mom, dad, sister and I lived on a lake when I was growing up and in the small town not far from our lake (technically where my dad grew up) there was a parade every 4th of July. We would either go to my mom’s small hometown or go to my dad’s small hometown near us for the first part of the day and then in the afternoon, we would have friends and family to our house to eat until we couldn’t eat anymore, swim until our ears were so full of water we couldn’t hear anymore, canoe until we would just swamp the canoe so we wouldn’t have to paddle anymore, boat until we ran out of gas and the motor wouldn’t go anymore, water ski until our legs were shaking and we couldn’t stand up on the skis anymore, and shoot off fireworks of some kind until we couldn’t stand the mosquitos anymore. It was so much fun and I have a lot of great memories from both kinds of celebrations from those years.

This is another recipe from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sugar Cookies #4

Mix in order given:

1 cup sugar

1 cup shortening, half butter (I used all butter)

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla (I put the vanilla in here with the more liquid ingredients, and I used 2 teaspoons to give it more vanilla flavor)

2 teaspoons baking powder

Flour to make a soft dough

Roll on floured board.

Bake in hot oven (I baked them at 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes).

The dough for this recipe rolls out nicely – and no need to chill it! I love that!

I decided to make them VERY festive. You can never be TOO festive. Right?

They’re a tender cookie after baking, and they’re delicious!

I used store-bought (gasp!) ice cream, but you can certainly make your own homemade ice cream if you want to.

I made all of these ice cream sandwiches, wrapped them, and put them right into the freezer to pull out on the 4th of July for a tasty treat.

These cookies are so easy to make, since there’s no dough chilling involved. You can just roll them right out and get it done. Make them as festive as you want to. Maybe try just sugar on top of them and fill them with strawberry ice cream, or chocolate ice cream, or mint ice cream. All of those would be right up my alley. I may have to make another batch of these Sugar Cookies #4 and try them all!

 

 

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Sugar Cookies #3

Today’s recipe is for Sugar Cookies #3. Yes – I have already made two different kinds of sugar cookies on this blog, and this is the 3rd. I have also made several different kinds of sugar cookies. This recipe is from the recipe book our family made for my sister years ago, and it came from my other grandma. Originally it came from a family friend who was a great cook and baker. My other grandma was also a great baker, and she loved baking for her family. This photo is of her parents – my great-grandparents. I think they were living in town at the time this photo was taken, but it looks like my great-grandpa kept his bib overalls on – even if it wasn’t on the farm!

They’re so cute! I love my great-grandma’s apron!

This recipe made 2 cookies short of 5 dozen (I used my scoop for this batch).

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sugar Cookies #3

Cream together:

1 cup margarine or butter (I used butter)

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

Add:

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Mix together and add to first mixture:

4 cups plus 4 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chill (I chilled this dough about 1 hour).

Roll in balls (I used my scoop because the dough seemed a little dry and didn’t hold together as well as I thought it would).

Bake at 325 degrees until edges are lightly browned (in my oven this took about 20 minutes).

The ingredients for these cookies are pretty simple and straightforward. It’s one of those recipe where you probably have all the ingredients in our kitchen at any given time. My scoop is for days when I’m feeling particularly lazy and just want to get the cookies done faster. Feel free to roll the dough into balls by hand if you want to.

I love how they look when using the scoop – almost like little roses.

Time for coffee?

These cookies are so tender and melt in your mouth! They’re absolutely delicious. I think you should try them with a scoop of Homemade Ice Cream, a glass of ice-cold Lemonade, or Curried Fruit Compote. However you decide to enjoy them, you’re gonna love these Sugar Cookies #3!

 

 

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Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies #2

Look at this recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies #2. I can’t believe it happened again! I’ve made this recipe before! Ugh! This makes two in a row! It was so exciting to find a recipe written in Grandma’s oldest sister’s handwriting – we don’t have a lot of them. After what happened in my last post where I made the same coffee cake twice, I thought I’d better check and see if I had made these before. It happened again!!! I DID make these before, but they were in another sister’s handwriting! Grandma and her sisters definitely shared recipes on a regular (if not daily) basis. Oh well, I had already made the cookies, so I’m putting the recipe on here again anyway. The last time I posted the recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies was 3 years ago.

As long as we’re talking about a recipe from Grandma’s oldest sister, I just had to share this photo of her with one of their aunts. Grandma’s sister is the baby.

She’s such a cutie! I love all of the white fabric and lace. I remember Grandma saying their mother made all of their clothes, so I’m sure she made this beautiful dress for her first-born daughter.

On to the recipe.

I’m glad I made these twice – they’re so delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies #2

Cream together:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup lard (I used all butter here)

Add:

2 cups sugar

Add one at a time:

2 eggs

Beat well after each is added.

Add:

3 squares melted chocolate

2 teaspoon vanilla

Blend.

Sift together:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

Add to mixture.

Mix in:

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

I used my trusty scoop to make these and I got just over 4 dozen cookies out of this batch.

They’re so evenly sized and pretty!

I’m not sorry I made these a second time. They’re full of oats and chocolate and they’re delicious. This is another cookie perfect with afternoon coffee. Or tea. Or hot chocolate. Your family will love it when you try these very chocolatey Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.

 

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Soft Oatmeal Cookies

The recipe for Soft Oatmeal Cookies that I’m sharing today comes from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house a couple of years ago. It’s a bit different from my usual oatmeal cookie recipe in that it has strong coffee as one of the ingredients. That’s so weird, but I love that. I’m thinking that some of these farm wives that Grandma knew would have coffee leftover after they had their friends over for afternoon coffee, and they would NOT want to just throw it away. They’d find a way to use it up. This was the generation that came through the Great Depression and we all know that they would use EVERYTHING and NEVER throw anything away, even coffee.

These really are delicious cookies!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup shortening (I used butter)

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup strong coffee

2 cups flour

2 cups oatmeal

1 1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins (or some of each)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

I did use my trusty scoop to get the cookies all the same size. Full disclosure – I was already halfway through the recipe when I went to get the regular oatmeal and there was only 1/2 cup left in the container. Ugh! That always happens to me! Well – I this was my first baking since feeling better, so I didn’t quite feel like a run to the store. I substituted the rest of the oatmeal needed with quick oatmeal and added an extra 1/2 cup of flour. They didn’t spread like regular oatmeal cookies, but I don’t think they would have even if I had the right amount of regular oatmeal.

The batter is a bit soft, but the scoop worked just fine. They did stay in more of a ball shape and they were delicious.

These cookies are soft, moist, spicy, and delicious!

Try these tasty cookies with the weird ingredient. Even though they have coffee in the dough, they were perfect as an afternoon snack with a cup of Russian Tea. Make a batch of these Soft Oatmeal Cookies and enjoy an afternoon coffee with your friends!

 

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Meringues

I found this recipe for Brown Sugar Meringues just this year in an old Christmas cookbook called Cooking For Christmas. I was looking for some treats to make that I could have (since I am STILL dealing with pancreatitis) that didn’t have much fat. I was looking through this cookbook and found this one that was just egg whites and sugar. No fat. These were amazing! They’re delicious and pretty and I thought, hey, why can’t I make these all year round? You can decorate them according to the season, and add all kinds of other goodies like dried fruit or nuts. So I sprinkled on some red sugar and a few pearl sugar balls and there you go – a special treat for Valentine’s Day!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Brown Sugar Meringues

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put into a medium bowl:

4 egg whites

Beat until soft peaks form.

Gradually beat in:

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

Beat until stiff and glossy.

Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

Pipe onto lined baking sheets (you can also just use a spoon to form mounds of the mixture).

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meringues are firm and dry.

Carefully peel off paper and store at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

(The recipe above has the added goodness of making a sandwich of the cookies with whipped cream – I didn’t do that here, but you would need to serve immediately if wanting to serve them this way.)

I have shared a lot of photos in this post, but I wanted to sort of show the progression of the egg whites. The first one is just getting started. The second one is my interpretation of the soft peaks.

Next the sugar is added a little at a time. Last is my interpretation of stiff and glossy. These maybe could have been a bit stiffer.

My piping bags are on the small side, so I had to add more of the mixture 3 times. You can also just use a spoon to make mounds of the mixture.

Now is the time to decorate, if you want to.

Here they are, out of the oven after 1 1/2 hours. I had the Christmas ones in the oven for 2 hours, but I don’t think it was necessary. You’ll have to see how your oven works and if they’re dry and ready the way you want them, go ahead and take them out.

They are so pretty!

These would make a special treat for any time of year. How about these for a nice hostess gift? You could even add a little drizzle of chocolate for an even more special gift for your valentine. These are definitely NOT hard to make and they’re delicious! Try these Brown Sugar Meringues next time you need a special treat!

 

 

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Ginger Cookies #3

It’s a cold and snowy day here in Minnesota, which means it’s a perfect day to make Ginger Cookies #3. This is another recipe from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house, and #3 in the line of ginger cookies made for Plenty Sweet Life. There’s nothing better than coming in from playing in the snow (no matter what your age), having the scent of those spices hit your nose as you come into the warm and cozy house from the cold outdoors, and having a lovely ginger cookie with your cup of hot chocolate. There is something very comforting about that. Growing up in this state of snow and ice, you learn to love all outdoor activities available in the winter: skating, skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and many others. My sister and I could never get enough of that cold weather fun when we were kids. It’s time to bring that back and start enjoying the cold weather fun again!

Note that there isn’t any baking temperature or time for these.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Ginger Cookies #3

Combine:

3/4 cup Crisco (I used butter)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons each of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves

Chill one hour.

Roll into balls, roll in sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (this is what worked for my oven).

I used my trusty scoop to make these (even though chilling the dough for an hour made the dough hard to scoop), roll them into balls, and into a bowl of sugar.

That sugar gives them a sugary crust after baking.

This is a very spicy cookie with great flavor – perfect for your afternoon coffee.

These cookies stayed the shape of a nice little tea cookie, they didn’t get a good crackle like some of the other ginger cookies have, but they are delicious without the crackle. Make a batch of these and then head out to play in the snow! You’ll have these beautiful little Ginger Cookies #3 waiting for you when you come back into your warm and cozy house.

 

 

 

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German Lebkuchen

This is a fairly new recipe for my family. Even though I am German on my other grandma’s side, I just started making this a few years ago. These German Lebkuchen have become one of my family’s favorites. They’re so amazingly spicy and delicious! The recipe comes from the old series of cookbooks that my mom has had for years called, Better Homes and Gardens Creative Cooking Library, and the book is “Birthdays and Family Celebrations”. As you can see by the notes I put on the recipe, we liked it!

german-lebkuchen

This is one of those recipes you can do early in the season because the cookies are tastier the longer they sit!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

German Lebkuchen

Beat:

1 egg

Add:

3/4 cup brown sugar

Beat until fluffy.

Stir in:

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup molasses

Sift together:

3 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoons allspice

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Stir in:

1/2 cup mixed candied fruits and peels, diced (some of my family aren’t fond of the peels, so I just used red and green cherries this time)

1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds

Chill several hours or overnight.

Roll 1/4″ thick on floured surface.

Cut into 3 1/2″ x 2″ rectangles.

Bake on greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Cool slightly before removing from pan.

While warm, spread with lemon glaze.

Cool before storing.

Lemon Glaze:

Combine:

1 slightly beaten egg white

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Dash of salt

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This isn’t a very difficult recipe, it’s just hard to mix up because it’s such a stiff dough.

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Mix the sticky mixture into the dry mixture – it’s easier to mix and not so sticky. If you try to do it the other way around, the sticky part really sticks to the bowl and it’s VERY hard to mix. I figured out to put the sticky into the dry and it made all the difference – it’s so much easier to do it that way.

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I mixed the fruit and nuts into it at the same time as you mix the sticky and dry ingredients together. The dough is so stiff, it really gets hard to stir.

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I bring the dough together and then wrap it in plastic wrap to chill.

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I found it easiest to roll out the dough, cut it into rectangles with a pizza cutter, and then lift the cookies off of my counter with a spatula to get them onto the baking sheet.

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Put the glaze on when the cookies are still warm.

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I put the cookies onto the cooling rack and then spooned on the lemon glaze.

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There it is – the german part of our Christmas celebration!

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These cookies are so spicy and delicious with the lemon glaze on them, that I feel they are almost the quintessential Christmas cookie. Start early so they have time for the flavors to meld. They make the house smell so good – you’ll know it’s time for Christmas. Make these German Lebkuchen and get ready for the holiday!

 

 

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White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Cookies

This recipe for White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Cookies really is no recipe at all. I saw the cookies in the store and had an idea for an incredibly easy Thanksgiving treat. I have to keep things simple after my surgery – the strength and stamina are NOT coming back the way I’d like them to – so this one is perfect. It’s a no brainer that’s just right for sending to college students (or my nieces), great for an unusual hostess gift, or just for snacking on while the turkey cooks away in the oven.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Melt according to the manufacturers instructions:

1 package of white chocolate chips or 1 package of white almond bark (I used almond bark for these)

Dip the pumpkin spice cookies (there are several brands making them now) into melted chocolate.

Lay cookies on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Sprinkle on fall colored sprinkles of your choice before the chocolate dries.

Let dry.

Done.

I melted the almond bark in an old mixing bowl from my mom’s old mixer. It’s the perfect shape for dipping and I have used it for dipping my Christmas candies for years. It’s glass, but it’s old and the glass gets warm and keeps the chocolate melted – it doesn’t cool down too fast. I love it.

There really isn’t anything to say – these are just too simple to make!

I love the non-perils in these fall colors – so cute! These are adorable and delicious and festive as all get-out. Make up a batch (or two or three) of these White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Cookies so you’ll have plenty for all your holiday needs!

 

 

 

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Butterscotch Cookies

The recipe for today is for Butter Scotch Cookies and comes from one of Grandma’s sisters. This is a nice recipe that you can have ready in your freezer, and whenever you need a little treat or company stops by, all you have to do is cut the frozen cookies and bake! I love that! This is a photo is of Grandma and Grandpa (on the left) with this particular sister and her husband. They might not be married at this point – they might have still been dating. I can see the sisters using a recipe like this when visiting back and forth – which they did a lot both back then and throughout their lives.

They look awfully young in this photo, and pretty dressed up. Maybe this was on a Sunday afternoon and the boys had come to call. I bet they were offered some kind of sweet treat with afternoon coffee to let them know that these girls could BAKE! These boys knew what they were doing – they knew these girls were “keepers”!

This is a great make-ahead recipe!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Butter Scotch Cookies

Mix all together:

1 scant cup butter (I used a whole cup)

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Form in roll and bake the next morning (I formed two rolls so I could put one into the freezer for another time).

There wasn’t a time and temperature on this one, so I baked the cookies at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

I love that I can use my mixer. The sisters didn’t have this to use back in the day.

I tried to make two even rolls.

I wrapped each roll in parchment paper and then wrapped them in plastic wrap. Into the refrigerator overnight.

It’s very easy to cut the cookies. I tried to keep them sliced evenly – about 1/4″ thick. The other roll of dough went into the freezer for another day.

You can see before and after baking – easy peasy! I did add a little sparkle by sprinkling some coarse sanding sugar on top of the cookies.

They’re so pretty, and just in time for afternoon coffee.

This recipe is right up Grandma’s alley – easy and delicious! While they WERE delicious, we didn’t necessarily get a butterscotch flavor from them, other than being made with just brown sugar. Being able to make them ahead and have them ready to go in the freezer is always a good thing. It’s just so handy! Have a few batches of these easy to bake Butter Scotch Cookies ready to go for your fall entertaining and your guests will be glad you did!

 

 

 

 

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Sugar Cookies #2

I’ve made several kinds of sugar cookies for Plenty Sweet Life, and these Sugar Cookies #2 are just one more in the long line of them. You can find the recipes here for Sugar Cookies, Brown Sugar Cookies, White Cookies, Orange Sugar Cookies, Rolled Butter Cookies That Never Stick, No-Roll Sugar Cookies, and Aunt Julie’s Summer Cookies. This list includes both the cut-out kind of sugar cookies and the kind that start by being rolled in a ball. Let me just say that I think you should try them ALL! All of them are really good and melt in your mouth. This is another recipe from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house. I’m so glad we found that book – it has been full of really good recipes.

These cookies hold their shape well.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sugar Cookies #2

Cream together:

1 cup shortening – part butter (I used all butter)

1 1/2 cup sugar

Add in order:

2 eggs

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Roll out on floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutter.

Sprinkle with colored sugar or bake plain and frost with icing.

Bake at 425 degrees for 5-9 minutes.

It’s a little hard to see here, but the dough was very soft. It didn’t say in the recipe to put it in the refrigerator to chill, but I did wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in there. Actually, full disclosure, I was interrupted and had to leave the dough in there for a few days. It seemed just fine.

I usually have to roll out cookies on my kitchen table, which inevitably ends up with flour getting through the crack in the middle of the table and ending up on the floor. Oh well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

These cookies hold their shape very well when cut. On this batch, I used sanding sugar because they weren’t necessarily for a holiday – just for fun.

Grandma never liked her cookies to get too brown, but I happen to like the flavor of them just a little brown on the edges.

This is a really good recipe. The cookies are not really soft, they’re more like a sweet cracker – firm instead of soft. I may try this recipe at Christmastime when I make my cut-outs. These Sugar Cookies #2 are delicious – you’re going to love them!

 

 

 

 

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