Traverse City Record-Eagle

Edna Shaffer: Grandma's Kitchen

November 30, 2008

Grandma's Kitchen: Finding warmth and friends


I really wanted you to have this cookie recipe as soon as possible. Rolling and decorating cutout cookies is usually a family affair and you don't want to rush through it. We had children in our home for 47 years and I wouldn't want to estimate the hours the little girls spent around the table making exotic creations, nor the hours I spent cleaning up sticky frosting! Fun memories and great pictures.

The recipe comes from Gail Jodway from Suttons Bay. She had trouble finding a dough that didn't stick to her rolling pin and/or the kitchen counter or tear with handling. Her mother-in-law, Mary Alice Jodway, rescued her by sharing her favorite recipe that Gail has used ever since. Mary Alice lives in Traverse City, is 88 now and blind, but still bakes something every day, and keeps up a house. So we raise our rolling pins in salute to Gail and Mary Alice and wish them happy holiday baking.

Gail credits the cornstarch for making this dough so pliable. It makes a large batch, so you might like to reduce it.

Jodway Christmas Cutout Cookies

2 c. vegetable oil

2&1/4 c. white sugar

1/4 c. light Karo syrup

3 beaten eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 c. sour milk (add 1/2 t. vinegar to 1/2 c. milk)

6&1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1&1/2 c. cornstarch (secret weapon)

1 t. salt

1&3/4 t. baking soda

2 t. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine and blend the first six ingredients. Mix the five dry ingredients together and blend into the wet mix. Mix until smooth and form into 3 or 4 balls for rolling. Roll as thick or thin as you prefer -- the thinner the browner and crisper they'll be, the thicker will be lighter, softer and chewier.

Place on parchment-lined or sprayed cookie sheets. Start timing your first batch in the oven at 8 minutes (because ovens vary). Cool completely before frosting.

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