Have you ever remembered a favorite food your grandmother made when you were young and wished you had the recipe for it?
I can’t count the number of times I have gone through Mom’s recipe box trying to find the recipe for Grandma’s Bowl Cookies. I knew that Grandma didn’t write down recipes; at least I had never seen any but, I was hoping that Mom did write down this one. No such luck.
|Grandma - very young!|
Then out of the blue, not too long ago, arrived a newsy letter from my wonderful Aunt Phyllis ~ Uncle Jake’s wife. I opened up the letter and I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!!! Out fell a newspaper clipping with Grandma’s recipe for her bowl cookies! Oh my gosh! I was shocked and thrilled at the same time!
Aunt Phyl told me that a friend of hers was looking through one of her friends’ cookbooks and came across the newspaper clipping with Grandma’s name at the bottom of the recipe so she gave it to Aunt Phyl. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) had a weekly column in which readers shared their favorite recipes ~ it may still have it for all I know ~ and Grandma mailed them her recipe for bowl cookies many years ago.
|Aunt Phyl & Unc Jake|
We always called them “bowl cookies” and I have no idea how Grandma came up with that name. The cookies are not rolled out, no cookie cutters were used; maybe Grandma used a small bowl to judge the size (?). They are a sugar cookie that Grandma made with lard. I’m sure it’s the lard that gave her cookies the unique taste and I doubt if they would be good using butter or margarine as they would be too bland and spread too much on the cookie sheet when baking. Bowl cookies are large soft cookies, almost cake-like; baked until they are very lightly golden around the edges, requiring no frosting or decorations.
My guess is that this would have been a Depression era cookie recipe since the cookies were made with just a few ingredients that were most always available and the price was right. It seemed like she made these weekly when I was young and also another great cookie with walnuts; another recipe I don’t have!
I’m just sooooo happy to have this recipe and I’m sure Bill is also because he won’t have to listen to me whining anymore about how I wish I had this recipe!
Sadly though, I must confess ~ when I made them, they just didn’t taste the same as back then and I know exactly why: because my dear Grandma didn’t make this batch and because she is no longer here to enjoy them with a cup of coffee and me...
Here’s Grandma’s recipe in her exact words:
Maude’s Bowl Cookies
1 cup lard
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup (8-ounces) sour cream
3½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream lard, sugar, salt and vanilla.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
Beat in sour cream and flour with baking soda and baking powder mixed in it.
(The secret of having these cookies stay soft is that the dough is not stiff enough to roll with rolling pin.)
Spoon out a “glob” of dough on a floured board.
Dash a little flour on top so your hand won’t stick, and pat to about 1/8-inch thickness, cut and put on baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
NOTE: These will stay soft if kept in a covered container.
I used an electric hand mixer to cream the lard and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Then I blended in the sour cream and flour by hand.
For the “glob” of dough, I used a flatware tablespoon, heaping, and just swiped it through the dough.
I did not dash flour on top of the cookie before patting it down. Instead, I ran my fingers through the flour on the board and then pat down the cookies to about ¼-inch thickness. This worked much better as the dough is very soft and sticky. By doing this, the dough did not stick to my fingers at all and was easy to work with. Use a thin spatula to move the cookies to the baking sheet.
I baked them at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, a light golden brown color around the edge.
Here’s to you Grandma and…
Thanks so much for the recipe, Aunt Phyl ~ you’re the best!
Visit my friend Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!