When I turned to Lesson 31, where Sue makes Sugar Cookies, I was a little surprised at how filthy the pages were. This recipe from When Sue Began to Cook was spattered with 100 year old flour stains. They sported a dot or two of grease, and even a little splash of age old vanilla extract. Apparently this is an excellent sugar cookie recipe.
This is our 31st lesson from this cookbook, and we’re a little over halfway through the year. My copy of the book was actually missing one of the earlier lessons on walnut fudge. The pages were ripped right out of the book. That must have been a sacred family recipe. If this is your first adventure with Sue and her friend Ruth Ann, click the linked book title in the first paragraph to be transported back to the beginning. A whole story goes along with these cooking lessons and you don’t want to miss any of it.
Last week Sue and Ruth Ann learned how to make a sponge cake and fold egg whites into a batter. This week they cream fat and sugar together. And Sue has lots to say about it…
Sue’s Notes from Sugar Cookies Day
“You may each get out one of the yellow mixing bowls,” Mother said, “and one of the holey spoons.” Ruth Ann and I were both glad because we knew that meant “creaming,” and we like to cream things.
We have a porcelain topped table at our house. It’s just the thing to roll cookies on. Mother had us sprinkle some flour on the clean table so the cookies wouldn’t stick. Then she had us take up half the dough in our hands and roll it together. (Of course, we washed our hands just before we began to make the cookies.) Then we put the dough on the floured table top.
Next we dusted the rolling pin with flour. Mother showed us how to roll out the dough as evenly as possible till it was about an eighth of an inch thick. Then we took the cooky cutter, dipped it into the flour and cut the cookies out. We really took several cooky cutters before we were through. We made our cookies in the shape of stars, ducks, and hearts.)
After we had cut out all the cookies we could, there was still some dough left. Mother had us make a ball of it and roll it out again and cut out some more cookies.
The Neighborhood Cookies
We made “neighborhood cookies” today, and at the time I write this, there isn’t a single one left!
There has been a regular epidemic of painting and yard cleaning in this neighborhood lately. I wrote about the McCarthy’s sudden interest in window washing. Well, after that was all finished they began to paint their house. It was so much fun with everybody standing around and giving advice that Robin and Teddy began to tease to paint something too. Of course, they are much littler than Clarence Patrick and Clyde. So Mother bought them some paint and let them paint the back fence between our yard and Teddy’s.
So today Ruth Ann and I announced that after our cooking lesson we would treat every real “neighborhood worker” to cookies. Everybody, that is, who had spent the whole morning in painting or gardening. Or cleaning up a back yard. Or doing something useful outdoors. It was a wonderful day for work and our cookies melted away like snowballs in August, as Father says. But it was worth it! This is getting to be the cleanest, neatest, shiniest, paintiest neighborhood in town!
And that is how Sue made Sugar Cookies during her Saturday cooking class.
Note: While I correct most of Sue’s atrocious spelling, her spelling of cookie as cooky, when talking about only one, is correct through the 1950s.
- ½ cup lard Any solid shortening should work here
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2⅓ cups flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp powdered nutmeg
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Measure out the lard into a bowl, and cream it with a wooden spoon (mash it down over and over) until it is very soft. The cookbook suggests using a spoon with a hole in the middle if you have one. Then add the sugar slowly, creaming all the time, until it is all added and well mixed.
- Break the eggs into a smaller bowl, and add the water and vanilla. Beath this egg mixture up all together with a Dover egg beater and then add it to the sugar mixture. Beat it all up very had with the same spoon until it is well mixed.
- Now take the dry ingredients and mix them up together, and then stir them into the wet mixture. (Or you can use a sifter, if you have one, and sift the dry ingredients over the bowl.)
- Roll out until about one-eighth inch thick, and then cut out with a cutter dipped in flour. Grease a cookie sheet and bake in a moderate oven (350-375℉) for fifteen minutes.