In high school, my brother JayCee did farm work for a family in our community. He worked hard and long hours, eating with the family to save time. These delicious cookies were a speciality of the lady of the house and JayCee would come home raving over them every time they appeared. Super delicious! Best darn cookies ever made, he declared. The recipe eventually made it home and was tried with great expectation. JayCee was right! Crunchy, crispy but not hard. Every fabulous flavor we all liked. Thick and kind of chewy. Super delicious! Best darn cookies ever!
I’ve made them to rave reviews ever since. Bytes and his brother loved them; so did Wheels. Cookie exchange hosts asked for them. They make a great addition to a Christmas cookie tray. Or to a bake sale table. Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you. These are quick and easy to make, too. Would a busy farm wife make them if they weren’t?
I gather up all the ingredients on the counter before starting. I measure, add and put away the ingredient packages as I go. Works great. I have tweaked it a bit. The original recipe called for cup of brown sugar, but reducing by a quarter of a cup still gives flavor and allows the cookie to still brown nicely. Cream of tartar is a by product of winemaking – the sediment left in the barrel following fermentation. It’s acidity works with baking soda to cause the cookie to rise and to prevent sugar from crystalizing. It’s a bit unusual to call for cream of tartar in a modern cookie recipe, but essential for this one. Baking powder is already a mixture of soda and cream of tartar activated by the moisture of the batter or dough. I don’t know why this recipe calls for soda and cream of tartar and not baking powder – but decided not to mess with success!
I often use parchment paper for baking cookies to keep them from sticking to the cookie sheet, but these don’t need that because of the oil. They can be a bit tender and break apart while hot, so if you have trouble moving cookies to the cooling rack, parchment paper can be lifted off with the cookies still on it. Remove cookies from paper when cool.
These also make great gifts to welcome new folks to the neighborhood! I’m looking forward to meeting the new neighbors across the street that have worked magic with the big yard and house before moving in even! They get a box of cookies and a welcome note from the neighborhood association. And you get a copy of the welcome card! Plus the fancied up recipe to use in cookie exchanges or to add to a gift of your own!
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