A Secret About A “Secret” Recipe

When I was a sophomore in high school, I helped my mother frost sugar cookies for a fundraiser my older brother was a part of.  The batch of cookies given to us were a bit flat and rather hard, so we baked some from our own recipe.  While they cooled, we whipped up buttercream frosting and prepared the piping bags.  I brought back the most beautifully decorated, soft, fluffy cookies the school had ever seen.  Seeing how wonderful the new sugar cookies were, orders increased by the dozen each day until the fundraiser ended.  To make things easier, I gave my mom’s sugar cookie recipe to the fundraiser advisor.  She planned to bake the cookies so we only had to worry about frosting them.  A great idea, right?  Wrong.  I was reamed for passing out a “secret” recipe that belonged to someone’s grandmother’s grandmother. . .blah, blah, blah.  I STILL hear about it every holiday season!

A few years back I asked my mom for the recipe to which she replied,

“Well, no one has it anymore.  Someone walked off with it.  If you ever find one like it let me know.”

Part of me thinks this is just paybacks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.  Then again, we haven’t had sugar cookies around in years.

I’ve been on the lookout for good sugar cookie recipes for a while now.  Two winters ago I went through three cookbooks trying to find the right one, but often found myself throwing away the dough because it didn’t taste the way I think it should.  This past week, my husband and I were shopping at the Wal-Mart for our Thanksgiving dinner items and I picked up a bag of GV powdered sugar.  I flipped it over to see if there was a recipe.


I put it back and grabbed the C&H brand.

Voilà!  I found it!  THEE sugar cookie recipe!

What?  The sugar cookie recipe?  The one that was somebody’s grandma’s grandma’s?

Yes.  Here it is labeled Amish Sugar Cookies, and as far as I know none of us are or ever were Amish.  Maybe the real secret was that my mother always substitutes unflavored Crisco for butter or margarine in all of her cookie recipes.

Oops!  Did I just spill that too?  No?  Oh, good.  I was afraid I’d have to hear about that forever too.

So what is this recipe, you say?  It’s a secret.  It was somebody’s grandmother’s grandmother’s Amish grandmother’s recipe.  You’ll have to buy a bag of C&H Pure Cane Sugar to find it.

No, I’m just kidding.  You can have it.

Amish Sugar Cookies

1 Cup granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter, margarine or Crisco

1 cup cooking oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350°F

Cream sugars, butter and oil.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Stir into sugar mixture until thoroughly blended.  Dough will be very soft.  Refrigerate dough until chilled.  Drop by small balls onto greased cookie sheet 2″ apart.  Flatten slightly.  Bake 10-12 minutes.


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