holiday party cookies

Last night, at approximately 9:34 p.m., my momma called to tell me that she made chocolate chip cookies if I wanted to come get some. I live two houses down from my parents, and let me tell you, it is a beautiful thing. Most people would probably think we’re crazy, but having my parents nearby, especially with a baby in the picture, is an incredible blessing.

Anyway, back to the cookies. It was 9:34 and I was tired. BUT when my mom makes cookies, she doesn’t make the refridgerated dough kind. She makes the real deal. She makes my granny’s ‘holiday party cookies’. I looked at the clock. I looked at the bed. I looked at Ben. We knew what our hearts were telling us. We had to do what felt morally right. So at 9:36 p.m., I hopped in my car in my pj’s and went to my momma’s.

Ben and I ate 4 cookies and drank a big glass of milk right before bed. And felt no shame. BLISS. Pure bliss.

My granny was an incredible cook. She was one of those cooks who unofficially get their speciality dishes named after them. ‘Granny’s rolls’, ‘granny’s cookies’, ‘granny’s green beans’, ‘granny’s casserole’, all heavenly. She passed away when I was 5, but she left behind the golden stash of her recipes. My mom still uses most of her recipes now. She’s recreated them for me because granny’s recipe cards are barely legible today. Oil-stained, brown index cards with her sweet handwriting hardly visible, worn over many years of cooking in the little kitchen that I cook in today. So sweet.

Anyway, one of my most favoritestestest recipe of hers is her ‘holiday party cookies’. I’m not sure what holiday these were for, or how they turned into a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Her original recipe calls for NO chocolate chips, so this was obviously for something else. But somewhere along the way, someone added chocolate chips, and a star was born.

Here’s the recipe:
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1 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 eggs
1-2 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
Chocolate chips (the more the merrier!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine shortening, eggs, vanilla, and white and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix well. Slowly add flour, mixing as you go. Add your chocolate chips (however much you want!). Drop spoon-fulls of cookie dough onto a greased (or sprayed) cookie sheet (a baking stone works even better) and bake them until light, golden brown. I don’t know, maybe 10 minutes or so? I always just keep an eye on them.
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I love old recipes like this. The ingredients are so simple. It’s hard for me to follow (and share) recipes because both my granny and my momma are notorious for ‘adding what feels right’. And giving minimal directions. I’m becoming guilty as well. A ‘cup’ to my mom is a drinking class from her cabinet. A ‘teaspoon’ means she pours until she feels satisfied. She doesn’t really measure anything, she just does what she feels. And it always tastes soooo darn good. Maybe that’s the key, then? Don’t follow recipes to a ‘T’? I know I’m becoming notorious for adding a little more sugar and a little more vanilla. You can never have enough of the good stuff, man!

Make these cookies. They didn’t make the ‘top healthy foods of 2011’ list, but you deserve to splurge a little, girlfriend! You may even involuntarily sing a song of praise once you take a bite! They are so very moist and chewy. And delicious. And simple. I can’t part with them. I’ve tried other cookie recipes. I’ve cheated on them. But I always come crawling back, begging for forgiveness. Just this weekend I tried a new cookie recipe that added a pack of instant vanilla pudding (new to me!).

They were sooo soft, and thick, but I just missed the flavor of my granny’s cookies. Maybe I’ll add a pack of instant vanilla pudding to hers?

Please excuse my high quality food photography. Will someone come take pikters for me? Purty pleze?

Most of my ‘passed down’ recipes look like this. With VERY detailed instructions.

Granny’s ‘holiday party cookies’. Try to eat them without crying.

How about you? Do you follow recipe instructions to a “T”? Or do you ‘do what feels right’ when it comes to cooking?

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6 thoughts on “holiday party cookies

  1. Sounds like me trying to get a recipe from my mother-in-law. Most of hers are the same way and that's how her mother taught her. I still can't get the cream gravy right even though she's showed me about a billion times in the 6+ years Brad and I have been together.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! Now I have to try them… but maybe after Key West… still trying to lose 5 before we leave. ;0)

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  2. Haha… it's getting scary now – this cybertwin-sister-from-another-mother stuff. I NEVER follow recipes to a T! I always change it or umm…get lazy. Like if it says “slowly add the flour” I dump it in. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and I've learned the hard way which recipes MUST be followed to turn out right… And suddenly I have a craving for cookie dough. At 7 am. Perfect.

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  3. Definitely wing it! Somehow even when the ingredients/measurements aren't the same, the food comes out tastey and awesome and very similar to what I “meant” to make – and sometimes even better than I meant to!

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  4. I love me some home-made cookies! It's always been a secret aspiration of mine to have a recipe named after me. Siighhh…I would just love to pass down a shredded, stained recipe with my lovingly-inscribed top-secret cookie recipe.

    And girl, this is getting weird–I live down the road from my parents too!

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