½ cup soft shortening
1 stick margarine
1½ cups sugar
2¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
In the pictures that follow, keep in mind that I was making a double batch when I shot them. These things go so fast that I never make a single . . .
Other than the baking time, this was the only change that I made to the original recipe -- instead of all shortening or all margarine, I use half of each. I like Crisco sticks -- they're easy and the wrapper is already measured so you can just cut off what you need.
I start by blending the shortening, margarine, and sugar with my favorite wooden spoon. I have used it for so long that the original straight handle is now curved. . .
Then I add the cream of tartar, salt, baking soda, and eggs. Two notes -- I never use as much salt as the recipe calls for (I'm just not a salt guy), and because of the high cholesterol that runs in my family I use Egg Beaters (but the cookies taste just as good with regular eggs).
After the eggs and such are mixed in thoroughly, it's time to start adding flour.
If you use regular eggs, you'll only need what the recipe calls for. For Egg Beaters, I have to add a little more flour to make up for the extra moisture. When you're done, the dough looks like the picture at right.
The recipe probably makes about three dozen cookies, but we've never gotten that many because Carla and Ryan love the dough all by itself, so I have to leave a bowl for each of them.
Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put them on a piece of wax paper.
In a little bowl, make a mixture of three parts sugar and one part cinnamon, and coat the dough balls before putting them on a cookie sheet. When my parents are home, I bake a few cookies without the coating (Carla refers to this as "without the doodles") because my dad likes them that way.
Ready to go into the oven. If you like them chewy like I do, bake for exactly 9½ minutes at 400 degrees.
The cookies will be a little "puffed up" as you take them out of the oven, but they'll fall a little as they cool.
Finished product -- not only are they very good, they're usually quite attractive . . .
I hope you're all having a wonderful Memorial Day. This is always a great day for grilling out and enjoying family, and around here it signifies the first day of summer. But I was reminded of the true meaning on Saturday, when we inducted three alumni of my high school into the school's Hall of Fame. All three were POWs during World War II, and one was able to attend our alumni banquet. I was close enough to see his reaction as he was introduced and several hundred people came to their feet to applaud his courage more than 65 years ago. It was easily the highlight of the evening. To you and/or your loved ones who also served -- thanks.