Grandma’s Molasses Crinkles

This is perhaps one of my favorite cookies ever. It brings back many memories of family gatherings and shared meals. While I mostly remember my aunt and my mom making them, the recipe originated with my grandma and so I always think of her. I searched through her recipe box and found it written in her hand with a tiny note that this is a good recipe. Love that.

These are the perfect texture, the perfect combination of spices, perfectly sweet but not too sweet, and perfectly formed with “crinkles” on top. They are delicious warm or cooled. Stephanie even had these as favors at her wedding. Yes, I think it’s fair to say these are a family tradition.

Molasses Crinkles would be a great addition to your Superbowl Party (along with many of other appetizer and snack recipes!) but they would also be good just about any other day. Perfection.

GRANDMA’S MOLASSES CRINKLES
Print This Recipe

3/4 c. shortening (trust me on this one)
1/4 c. molasses
1 c. sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream shortening, molasses, sugar, and egg together until fully combined and creamy. Add flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix until fully combined.

Scoop dough and roll into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crinkled on top and lightly golden. Makes about 3 dozen.

Advertisements

Grandma’s “Forget Me” Cookies

These cookies spend at least 8 hours in the oven, thus they are “forget me” cookies. And I actually did forget about mine for a few hours. 🙂

I had some trouble with my egg whites beating to stiff peaks. At first I thought possibly my bowl wasn’t completely grease-free. But then, after making a second batch in a different bowl, I decided it was because the recipe didn’t use any cream of tartar. So, I’m adding that to the recipe below and you should be set.

These are delicious–light with plenty of chocolate chips and pecans studding each cookie (Grandma was fond of that combination!). They aren’t terribly pretty, but they certainly taste great!

GRANDMA’S “FORGET ME” COOKIES
Print This Recipe

2 egg whites, set out for 30 minutes before whipping
dash of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a grease-free bowl beat egg whites until foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, one teaspoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in the vanilla, chocolate chips, and pecans.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (or aluminum foil with the dull side facing up). Place in the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Do Not open the oven door for at least 8 hours.

Makes 3 dozen.

Grandma’s Vanilla Pudding

Vanilla pudding. So simple, yet so versatile. I felt an acute desire to talk to Grandma as I worked on this recipe. I actually made two batches because my first attempt was lumpy. You see, I was having to make up the cooking directions because this recipe came with ingredients only and Grandma’s not here to ask how she made this. I still don’t think I have it down pat. But, I’ll clue you in to how I made this, and if you want to try your own way, go for it!

To dress up my dish of pudding, I sautéed chopped apples and pecans in butter with a few sprinkles of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. But you could choose to drizzle a puree of frozen berries over top. Or a dollop of fruit jam. Or just eat it plain-jane vanilla. The possibilities are endless. Simple, yet versatile. Not too sweet, leaving room for tastes to shine through. So much about this recipe reminds me of Grandma.

GRANDMA’S VANILLA PUDDING
Print This Recipe

2 c. milk
3 Tbsp honey or 1/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
3 Tbsp cornstarch or 6 T. flour
1 tsp vanilla
Garnish with fruit, coconut etc.
Heat milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking frequently to prevent scalding. Beat eggs and honey or brown sugar together. When milk is steaming, slowly whisk in egg mixture.
In a small bowl add cornstarch, dip a few spoonfuls of the hot milk/egg mixture into the bowl and using a fork or whisk, mix until smooth. While whisking, slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture and continue to whisk until pudding thickens.
Turn off heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into several small bowls, or one larger bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface. Refrigerate until cool.
To serve, top with desired fruits or nuts.

Grandma’s Lazy Bean Soup

We really haven’t forgotten you. We’ve been getting back into the rhythm of life and haven’t been posting quite as frequently as we had hoped. Never fear, we still have several more of our Grandma’s recipes to share!

Today I made Lazy Bean Soup – it took me about 10 minutes to put together (besides soaking the beans) and then cooked in the crockpot. Simple, delicious, and healthy. Grandma was very interested in health and nutrition and spent time reading about it and planning meals.

This was not so much soup as it was beans. It was hearty and really good. If you want it to be soupier, add another 2-4 cups of water. made this with white beans (we called this “ketchup bean soup” growing up because we loved to add ketchup to it). This is fabulous served with cornbread.

GRANDMA’S LAZY BEAN SOUP
Print This Recipe

1# soaked beans (I used white)
1 quart water (use 2-4 extra cups for a soupier soup)
ham bone
1 c. ham pieces
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and cook on low for 12 hours or high for 6 hours.

Grandma’s Easy Chicken Salad

For many summers, we would drive up to Grandpa and Grandma’s and spend a long morning blueberry picking at a nearby blueberry farm. Grandma always packed a picnic lunch and after picking 70+ pounds of blueberries, we’d head to a local park for lunch. Something I’ve always appreciated about Grandma was her care and preparation of balanced meals, the picnic would include fruit, raw veggies, homemade cookies, sometimes chips, and sandwich makings–bread, peanut butter and jelly, condiments, lunchmeat or this chicken salad.

Grandma gave me this recipe at one of my bridal showers. Although the recipe is typed up (her exact recipe is below), in her neat handwriting she signed the bottom corner with Grandma C.

This comes together quickly and is just right for seasonings and flavors. I usually make a fruited chicken salad, so I found this sweet pickle version a lovely change. We enjoyed it with crackers, but it would make a perfect sandwich as well.

GRANDMA’S EASY CHICKEN SALAD
Print This Recipe

1/3 c. finely chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped sweet pickle
2 tsp finely chopped onion
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1 1/2 c. chopped cooked chicken

Combine celery, pickle, and onion. Combine next four ingredients; fold into celery mixture along with chopped cooked chicken. Cover and chill.

Grandma’s 5 Cup Salad

First, thank you for your kind thoughts and comments. We had a long but beautiful weekend with our family – lots of tears, lots of laughter, and lots of memories. We have a great big, supportive family and it was truly wonderful to be together even for such a sad occasion. We miss her but we rejoice for her.

_______________________________________________________________________

A few years back, I was planning and hoping to compile a family cookbook and began collecting family recipes. I still hope to do that. Instead, we had the best kind of interruption and found out that #3 was on the way very quickly – surprise! We learned of our youngest in early July and he was born mid August. His adoption was finalized in November. Whirlwind. Sometimes I still think we are recovering and he is 3. 🙂 My sweet Grandparents were some of the first people I called with the news of our eminent arrival. They were excited for us. I have pictures of my grandma holding him when he was maybe 4 or 6 weeks old. She loved babies and she got to see him quite a bit those first few months as we had 3 family weddings within 6 weeks.

Anyway, I was looking through the recipes she submitted – some were new to me and others were old standbys. This recipe is the latter. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. I most remember it coming to picnics – we are big on pitch-ins and picnics in our family. Oh and I must mention that one thing I really admired about my Grandma is that she regularly tried new recipes. A funny thing is that she sometimes apologized for her food which was, in fact, nearly always delicious. It was not fake modesty, it was genuine humility – she was definitely not a praise seeker.

So here is her 5 Cup Salad to kick off our time of tribute to one of our favorite cooks and one of our favorite people! I made it just as she wrote and chose to add pecans because I think that is mostly what she did. She really liked nuts. You could easily add both coconut and nuts but then it would be 6 Cup Salad or you could add 1/2 and 1/2 or just pick your favorite.  Also, I used red grapes. I’m pretty sure this salad was served at the funeral dinner on Saturday or at least several like it.

GRANDMA’S 5 CUP SALAD

1 c. mandarin oranges, drained
1 c. pineapple chunks, drained
1 c. seedless grapes
1 c. coconut or nuts
1 c. sour cream

Mix and serve.

(P.S. I’ll add the printable link later – my computer is in the shop and I don’t have a pdf writer on my back up one.)