The sainted woman in that picture with my Grandpa is my Grandma Shields and man could she cook! I don't ever remember going to her house and not having wonderful smells coming from her kitchen.....always something homemade. They lived on a farm so it was always something fresh as well.....from a chicken that she probably killed and cleaned herself (luckily I never had to witness that!) to fresh bread and homemade noodles...O.M.G.!!When my Grandpa became too old to take care of the farm, they moved to a trailer outside of town, but she never stopped cooking. The one thing you could always count on when you walked in the front door was the smell of these cookies coming fresh out of the oven. (How did she always know just when we'd be there?) My mother says she never used a recipe so when she passed it was up to my Aunt Kate to try to recreate them.
I'm ashamed to say this is the first time I've baked them, but it won't be the last. They are just as I remember (or else I've convinced myself they are)! Doesn't matter. They are simple and really good....a little crunch on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. I think Aunt Kate did Grandma proud!
Aunt Kate passed away a few years ago also and I'm sure she and Grandma have made these together (with Uncle Chuck doing all the eating!) And I know when I arrive there will be a tray fresh out of the oven waiting for me!
I'm not sure these had an official name, but Kate called them Butterscotch Cookies, so that's what they are!
Grandma Shields' Butterscotch Cookies
(this makes a shitload of cookies, so you may want to halve the recipe)
1 cup butter, room temperature
4 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 cups of flour
Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients and slowly add to the egg mixture. Form the dough (this is a wet, sticky dough) into 2-3 logs and refrigerate overnight.
I ended up with 3 good size logs and put them into the freezer. This dough freezes well and makes easy slice and bake cookies. Line the sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat.
They will spread some, so don't place them too close together on the cookie sheet.
Bake them for 10-15 minutes depending on how thick you slice them. They will crack on top and turn a nice golden color.