Butter Cookies

There's sweet simplicity in every bite of this buttery and crunchy cookie.

By Elizabeth Semrai

The best things in life are the simple pleasures. Author and Grandparents.com contributor Elizabeth LaBan shares a lovely butter cookie recipe from her charming book The Grandparents Handbook: Games, Activities, Tips, How-Tos, and All-Around Fun (Quirk Books). The recipe comes from her "Nanny" Florence and the cookies are prepared with the purest ingredients. We must also add that they're incredibly easy to make, and just the right sweet treat for when the grandkids pop by.

Elizabeth recalls her younger days, and her grandmother's signature cookie:

"When I was little, I lived with my parents outside of New York City and Nanny Florence and my grandfather Mark lived in St. Croix. We would visit them once a year and I remember that each visit, on one of our nights there, Florence would make cheese lasagna and the butter cookies and it was one of my favorite meals all year. If you handed me one of those cookies right now it would take me back to St. Croix and that big open room with the bare floors and cricket noises outside the screen door. I couldn't get enough of those cookies and Nanny would sit next to me while I ate them, gently scratching my back and trying to get me to talk all about my life and school and whatever else she was interested in. Now I make those cookies with my own kids."

Elizabeth also says that it's a "grandparental duty" to provide kids with the sugary indulgences they often don't get at home. The mother of two shares more tips from her grandparenting handbook — 8 ideas that make any day special.

1/2 pound lightly salted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups plus 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. With clean hands or a hand mixer, blend butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add egg and vanilla, mixing with a sturdy spoon.

4. Add remaining dry ingredients slowly and mix until the batter forms a moist dough.

5. Spoon 1 teaspoon of batter at a time onto ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Flatten with fork tines or the lightly greased bottom of a small glass.

7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

8. Let cool before transferring to an airtight container.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies


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