Young chefs can help you turn out these traditional favorites.

By Nora Sherman

Who was Grandma Mary Jo? “I don’t know, but I wish I did!” says Anna Levien, the owner of the Young Chef’s Academy of Sparta, N.J. “These cookies are that good.” The recipe is from the national Young Chef’s Academy archives, and the cookies are nearly foolproof. Li'l line cooks can roll balls of dough in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, while sous chefs in training can do the measuring and mixing. See our tips for cooking with grandchildren.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cookie sheets
Cooking spray
Electric mixer
Large bowl
Medium bowl
Measuring spoons and cups
Small saucepan

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease at least two cookie sheets with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients at medium speed until well blended.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Whisk until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and use an electric mixer to beat at medium speed until smooth.

4. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough into small balls the size of walnuts. Roll each ball in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

Yield: Makes 3 dozen cookies.


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