This was the first recipe I ever figured out how to make from memory. It took me about two years, around 30 bad batches of cookies, a few floor meltdowns but I got it, and now I can say I’ve got the recipe down to a science and it’s finally ready to share. Everyone who knew my Grammie knew and loved her and these cookies. My uncle hid a tin of them under his bed at Christmas time and don’t remember a holiday or occasion without them. The only person who I ever met that did not like these cookies was my mom.
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1 T baking powder
1 1/2 sticks of butter (room temp. baby)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 t Vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 T milk
1/2 t vanilla extract
Plastic wrap or foil.
Okay, I am very aware what I am about to say is WRONG, very wrong. Textbook, “watch a single cooking show and you’ll know this is not the way to make dough” wrong, however; this is how you make this dough. Trust me, I tried to do it the “right” way, and it never came out well, right. My grandmother through everything in a bowl, at the same time and mixed it with her hands.
I know, I know.
But it’s the only way that works. So here we are. Keep a little extra flour on hand to adjust, you’ll most likely need a little more. Be careful not to add too much, they should still be very buttery. Dough should be soft and smooth and not stick to your hands once throughly combined.
You should be able to grab a small piece of dough roll and form a tube of dough that you will then wrap and twist around to make the final shape of the cookie. Something close to braided? A figure 8? The easiest way I can think of to describe this part of the process (and this is after months of working on this post) is : MAKE DOUGH SNAKE, TWIST DOUGH SNAKE. It is also perfectly acceptable to just scoop 1 to 2 inches of dough and bake like a regular cookie if you don’t feel like channeling your inner Italian grandmother or Chrissy Teigen.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cookies should be golden with no browning at the bottom. While in the oven, stay local and make your glaze, if you burn these you’ll have to start over. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you’ll most likely need to work in a few batches. Let rest on a cooling rack until completely cooled down.
To make the glaze put powdered sugar into a medium sized bowl and SLOWLY, and I mean truly glacially add milk a few drops at a time, whisking gently. Emotionally it should feel like you’ve been seeing someone for a few months but haven’t had the “talk” yet. Yes, that slow. I promise it’ll be worth your while because if this gets too thin yes, you can always add more powdered sugar to thicken it back up but I promise you don’t want to be left with a gallon of cookie glaze when everything is all said and done. Add in vanilla just as slow. It should look but not taste like Elmers glue.
Once totally cooled, dip cookie face down into glaze mixture, adjust thickness accordingly, the first dip of one of these is often like a first pancake.
Then immediately make it rain with sprinkles. Don’t be shy, these cookies are FUN.
For full Grammie authenticity cover every smooth surface of your home with plastic wrap and let cookies harden over night. On one memorable occasion they were even on the bed, it might have been my first communion, but I’m sure it happened more than that.
Bring these everywhere, for anything. And I highly suggest dipping a few into your coffee the next morning.