My Grandma Izzy was a firecracker.
She liked drinking beer, she liked going fishing, she liked bowling, and she loved to spoil her granddaughters. Lucky for me, I got to be one of those spoiled granddaughters!
I have a lot of specific food-related memories related to Grandma Izzy — some of which were completely awesome, and some of which, in hindsight, were a little weird. The way she always had little individual-sized cans of Welch’s grape juice on hand for my sister & me. The fancy glass dish she used to serve a side of raw green onions with just about every meal. The jar of pickled herring and crackers she always served as an appetizer at Christmas. (Only Grandma could make me trust that something so gross-looking would taste so good.) Her homemade ham salad sandwiches. Her apple butter. The old-school can of Hershey’s Syrup she used to make ice cream sundaes for us grandkids after every meal.
But what made Grandma a true legend in my family was her sugar cookies. To this day, we refer to them as Wind Cookies. Because Grandma always liked to say: “Have another one. They’re just wind.”
After making her cookies as an adult, using her handwritten recipe card as my guide, I’ve learned that unfortunately, they are NOT just wind. There are an awful lot of calories in these sugar cookies. But, damn, they’re good. They’re airy, flaky and crispy. And if you make ‘em right, they’re as big as your head.
A few years back, my sister tried making them with whole wheat flour to try to “health food” them up or something. And I nearly lost my mind. You do NOT mess with Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe! They’re full of oil and sugar and butter – whole wheat flour in this context is not only unnecessary, it’s just plain WRONG.
That was the last time my sister ever made them with whole wheat flour, for the record. And we are back on speaking terms again, finally.
Today, I’m paying it forward and sharing Grandma Izzy’s amazing recipe for sugar cookies with you. Enjoy them for Christmas with green & red sugar sprinkled on top. Enjoy them in the springtime with pink and yellow sugar sprinkles. Or enjoy them any time, with whatever color sugar you damn well please.
You deserve these any time of year, really, and the color of the sugar is totally irrelevant.
My Grandma Izzy's recipe for the flakiest, most delicious sugar cookies I've ever eaten.
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup white sugar for coating cookies prior to baking
- colored sugar optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Beat butter, oil, white sugar, powdered sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar.
Stir flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time.
Roll into 1-inch balls and dip into sugar to coat.
Place dough balls on ungreased cookie sheet, about three inches apart.
Press the bottom of a glass on each ball to flatten them.
Sprinkle each flattened cookie with colored sugar for decoration, if you wish.
Bake until lightly browned, 10-14 minutes.