Last year at the family reunion Dad's cousin Gary told me that my sugar cookies were almost as good as his grandma's and my grandma's cookies. He assured me that with a little more practice they would be perfect. To help me in that process he was willing to taste-test my cookies for me.
He's not the only one willing to taste-test my cookies. After Naomi and I baked a triple batch of Grandma Gilbert's Sugar Cookies on Thursday afternoon, I stacked the cookies in a large plastic container to take to the reunion on Sunday. I had a few cookies left over and I put them on a small plate on the counter in the kitchen. The cookies were there when I went to bed, but when I got up in the morning there was an empty plate.
Grandma Gilbert's Sugar Cookies
Great-Grandma Gilbert didn't have measuring spoons in her kitchen and she baked her cookies in a wood stove. When my Grandma wrote down the recipe she included oven temperature and ingredient measurements--except for the flour. "Sticky, but not too sticky. What's that supposed to mean?" my Aunt Phyllis asks in frustration when she tries to duplicate Grandma's cookies.
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 to 6 cups flour
Cream together sugar and shortening. Beat in eggs and buttermilk. Mix in dry ingredients--adding enough flour so that the dough is stick but not too sticky. Turn dough onto floured surface and roll to 1/4-3/4" thickness. Cut with floured round cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes.