A few weeks ago my grandson, Gavin (7), asked if he could have a sleepover at my house. The timing was a little off at that time, so we told him that he could sleep over “after Thanksgiving”. Ambiguous, right?
Gavin doesn’t forget anything and last week asked me, “Hey, Mom-Mom? Do you remember that you said I could have a sleepover after Thanksgiving…or was it Arbor Day?”
Yeah, I laughed at that one. Arbor Day? So funny.
Long story short, Gavin had his sleepover on Thursday night. Friday morning he made John and I “egg toast”. I’m telling you, that kid can fry an excellent egg! He’s been my cooking buddy since he was three years old. I taught him how to use a knife when he was three and ever since then, whenever he is here and I am cooking dinner, he asks if I have anything that needs cutting. Prepping salads is his specialty. Well, prepping salads and making egg toast.
After breakfast I invited Gavin to help me make some cookies. I had one idea and Gavin had several others. The end result was the cookie recipe presented here.
Amish Sugar Cookies are not new. As a matter of fact, the recipe is all over the internet with little or no variation from one site to the next. The recipe, itself, is unusual in that it calls for cooking oil as well as butter. Butter, of course, is a common cookie ingredient, but not so with oil.
Gavin wanted to change things up by adding M&M’s to the cookies. He does not like sprinkles on or in his cookies, which I think defies logic. He’s a child. He’s supposed to like sprinkles. But, whatever.
The dough came together easily and the M&M’s seemed like a good addition. The cookies were slightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The taste of the finished cookie is very light and would adapt well to various additions. Spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg would work well in them, and they could support additions such as candy pieces, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee chips, or sprinkles. They would also be delicious frosted. The traditional recipe calls for vanilla extract, but I think that other flavorings such as almond or rum would also work well in them.
For me, this is a keeper recipe. I made a couple of alterations which, I believe, enhanced the flavor. Instead of vegetable oil, I used grapeseed oil. Walnut oil would also be a good choice. I doubled the vanilla, which is a great idea. Then there are Gavin’s M&M’s. I wanted to use red and green mini M&M’s to go along with the Christmas season and tried to talk Gavin into picking out the red and green ones from the bag. He set out to oblige me, but three minutes into the picking-out process he informed that it was really boring. So, multi-colored mini M&M’s it was.
Picking out the red and green M&M’s was boring. Gavin lasted about three minutes…a lifetime when you are 7. Cracking eggs was far more entertaining. There may or may not have been egg shells in some of the cookies. As for the vanilla, some of it went into the measuring spoon, some of it spilled into the bowl, and a goodly portion ended up on the counter top. In Gavin’s words, “Wow! That’s a lot!”
Measuring and mixing the dry ingredients was less eventful and….
Boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As he made a hasty retreat to the family room for bigger adventures, Gavin left with these parting words, reassuringly pronounced over his shoulder, “Now, Mom-Mom. If you need me to do anything else, just let me know.” Alrighty, then.
Gavin did return to “help” me add the M&M’s to the dough. I managed to fire off exactly one photo as Gavin dumped the M&M’s into the bowl. The only reason I got even one photo was because 1) I serendipitously hit the button at the exact right moment, and 2) I had the camera set for an “action” shot. Whenever I am taking pics of the boys doing anything, I keep the camera in a point & shoot action mode. Otherwise, I don’t get anything except a blur of color on a still background.
A 1/2 ounce cookie scoop made the perfect size cookie. I put twelve cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet– 3 across and 4 down. This gives a good amount of room between the cookies to allow for even baking. Sprinkle some white granulated sugar over each dough mound prior to baking.
The cookies are perfectly baked when the tops are pale and the edges have the barest hint of golden brown.
Be sure to keep these cookies stored in an airtight container. They should keep well for about 5 days. They’ll still taste great after that time period, too. This recipe can be halved easily, if you don’t want 6 dozen cookies on hand.