Today is my belated grandmother Bami’s birthday, so I decided to make her famous sugar cookies, which was one of her signatures and one of my fondest memories of her.
We used to always request these special cookies on our birthdays and Bami always made so many of them that I swear they could have lasted you until your next birthday. I also remember them being a staple on our Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert table.
The secret to these cookies is the special glass that has glass bubbles on the bottom (very trendy in the 1970s) that you use to make indentations on the top of the cookie. No one knows where Bami’s official glass is, but my boyfriend’s mom knew I was on the lookout for one and found one in her belated mother’s old glassware so she passed it on to me. Now that I have the recipe AND the special glass I can finally do her cookies some justice and they’ll be on my dessert table every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
These are very delicate sugar cookies due to the use of a mix of white sugar and confectioners sugar. They are also unusual in that they use 3 types of fats – butter, margarine, and oil. The dough consistency is not as dense as normal cookie dough so definitely don’t skip the step where you freeze the dough – it will be difficult to roll it into balls if you don’t.
So without further adieu – here is the family recipe:
Makes about 9 dozen (I’ve divided this recipe by 4 and it’s turned out fine)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 stick margarine (not softened)
- 1 stick butter (not softened)
- 1 cup oil
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla (add along with dry ingredients and oil)
- 4 cups plain (unsifted) flour
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- Sift dry ingredients except sugar
- Cream butter, margarine and sugars. Gradually add beaten eggs to mixture.
- Blend in dry ingredients, pouring in the oil and vanilla gradually. When the dough gets too stiff for mixer, finish it by hand.
- Freeze until hard.
- Roll into small balls. Press bottom of a glass than has been dipped in granulated sugar.*
- Put about 15 on each tray.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or to desired color.
*Note: I could’t figure out how Bami stamped the cookie dough with the glass before they had baked because the dough just kept sticking to the glass. Instead, I baked the cookies until they were almost ready, then I pulled them out of the oven, stamped them with the sugar coated glass, then popped them back in the oven for 2 more minutes until they were done.