Grandma Pierce’s Christmas Cookies

I know I’ve been posting a lot about food lately, but that’s just a reflection of my life right now. I probably spend 50% of the month of December in the kitchen. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration, but I am in the kitchen a lot around Christmas, and I like it that way. And I have yet another recipe to share with you. But first, a story.

Jason and I had a conversation about a month ago that went like something like this–
Jason: Help me remember, you need to get the recipe for my grandma’s Christmas cookies from my mom.
Amy: Okay. What kind of cookies are they?
Jason: Christmas cookies.
Amy: But what is in them?
Jason: I don’t know. They’re just Christmas cookies. And I really like them. You need to get the recipe from my mom.

I was a little baffled, so I called Jason’s mom and at Thanksgiving, she gave me the recipe. When we got home, I scanned the list of ingredients for anything I needed to pick up at the grocery store. As I read the recipe, I became skeptical. Two whole cups of shortening? With no butter? And there are cherries and dates in these cookies? Suffice it to say I didn’t think they sounded so amazing. Scratch that – I thought they sounded gross.

“Are you sure you like these cookies?” I asked Jason before adding “dates” to my shopping list. He assured me that he did, and so at Wal-mart I threw some dates in my cart, and came home and started to make Christmas cookies.

I stirred flour into them until I thought my arm would fall off, and then I stirred in the cherries, dates, and nuts. What kind of nuts I was supposed to use, the recipe didn’t say. I asked Jason what kind his grandma used, but he didn’t know. I used walnuts.

Fast-forward five hours. The cookies had chilled in the icebox (actually, I used a refrigerator, since I don’t think I’ve ever even seen an actual icebox) and had been sliced and baked. I handed Jason a plate and a glass of milk. And I took a cookie.

I looked skeptically at it one more time before taking a bite. And you know what? They were good!

So here’s the recipe, copied exactly as Grandma Pierce wrote it. Give it a try!

Christmas Icebox Cookies

Cream together: 2 c. sugar, 2 C. shortening.
Add: 3 eggs, 1 T. Corn Starch.
Sift together & add: 5 c. flour, 1 t. soda, 1/2 t. salt.
Add: 1 c. chopped nuts, 1 c. maraschino cherries, 1 c. chopped dates, 2 t. vanilla.

Makes 4 large rolls. Chill and slice fairly thick. Makes 8 dozen cookies.

Bake 375 12-15 minutes.


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