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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine Sweets for Your Sweetheart

 I come from a long line of cookie bakers. Both my grandmothers possessed ‘secret’ recipes for sweets guaranteed to find their way to a man’s heart and to charm children into doing one’s bidding without complaint. 

My grandmothers’ grandmothers passed the recipes down to them from the last century. I’m convinced that, if I could inspect my pilgrim ancestor’s meager luggage to see what she’d brought to the New World, I’d find Ye Olde Book of Biscuit Recipes. (Outside of North America, the English word for one of these sweet treats is biscuit.)

For Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing one of these ancestral recipes with you. I got this magic formula from my mother, who got it from her mother, my Grandma McCloskey. I can testify to its soul-mate-landing potency. I’ve been married more years than some of you have been alive. (Bonus tip: My kids would do anything to earn one of these cookies!)

Grandma McCloskey’s Sugar Cookies
3 cups flour                            1 cup shortening
1 tsp. baking powder             3 eggs
¼ tsp. salt                              1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¼ cups sugar
Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening with a fork. Add unbeaten eggs and flavoring. Roll out very thin on floured board and cut with floured cutter. Bake 375ºF for 8 minutes.

Those early bakers were sparse with the instructions, weren’t they? We always dust the rolled dough with cinnamon and either white sugar or colored baking sprinkles. Roll lightly afterwards with your rolling pin to set. Or you can frost them. Get creative!

Now dust off your heart-shaped cookie cutters and prepare to be adored!

© Sarah Raplee, 2012. All rights reserved


Paty Jager said...


Your recipe sounds like a simple treat to make for a sweet tooth. And I agree on the old time recipes I have one to make noodles where you use an egg shell to measure the cream and the dough rests in the time it takes you to sweep the floor.

My family loves chocolate so I always made heart shaped brownies for Valentine's.

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for stopping by, Paty. i hadn't thought about how the old-time bakers had timed the oven1 What a fun peek into the past1

Judith Ashley said...

I remember when sweets were a special treat - not something you could get almost every day. We didn't always have dessert with dinner when I was growing up - that was a Sunday dinner treat.

I've a book of these kinds of recipes that my grandmother, mother, and aunts all made. Some of them I can make because I learned from them - but if it is a recipe I've not tried, the sparse instructions lead to a less than pleasing product.

These cookies will be delicious because of the amount of love baked into each one!

Diana Mcc. said...

I can attest to how great these cookies are as Sarah and I are sisters. One tip: depending if you have a gas or electric stove, keep a close eye on your first batch. When the bottom of the cookie is lightly brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed, they are done. You may have to adjust the time to bake.

Sarah Raplee said...

judith, So many people have told me they have similar old recipes tucked away! What a lovely thing to pass on to our children and grandchildren!

Thanks for the tip, Diana1 pay attention, readers - my sister is a wonderful cook. :)