One Tough Cookie: The Post in Which I Share a Treasured Family Recipe
One of my personal heroes is my great-grandmother Anna. I didn’t have a relationship with her due to the fact that she died when I was a little kid and also the fact that she lived hundreds of miles away, but I love her story. I also love her recipe for Swedish oatmeal cookies, which is how I’m going to tie this post to promotional products. Hold on. It’s coming.
I think it’s pretty cool to know the woman behind the cookie, so before I share Anna’s recipe for Swedish oatmeals, here you go.
To begin with, she was a red head, the only one I know of in my entire family. It takes two recessive genes to get red hair, and Anna got hers from her young mother, who was reportedly a maid for a married doctor. The married doctor was her father. She grew up in rural Sweden without him.
She fell in love with a boy named John who decided one day to immigrate to America. Anna followed him here, married him, and gave birth to ten children, one of whom was my grandmother. She also endured life as a farmer’s wife in North Dakota and tragic events like the death of her two-year-old son one winter. As the story goes, the brutal North Dakota winter left the ground too frozen to bury little Arthur. He was wrapped in a blanket and stored in the barn–which she had to face everyday until spring.
Anna learned English by reading the newspaper and listening to the radio. She set her mind to learn, and she did.
She worked hard, she loved her family, and she took care of strangers. Her faith, as the story goes, was never shaken. She was gentle and she was kind, but she was clearly tough as nails. She lived to be 101.
I don’t know where she got this recipe, but Anna’s daughter, my great aunt, has made these cookies all my life. It took me a while to master them, but I’ll share my tips.
Swedish Oatmeal Cookies
Blend 2 sticks of softened butter with one cup of sugar. Add one cup of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, and 2 cups of oatmeal (quick oats or old fashioned oats–either kind works).
Now the recipe calls for 10-12 minutes of baking in a 350 degree oven. My Swedish oatmeal cookies never come out right if I follow these directions.
Here’s what I do:
1) I use those silicone baking mats on top of my cookie sheets.
2) I bake the cookies for 8 1/2 minutes at 350 degrees.
3) I let the cookies sit on the still-hot cookie sheet for about 5 minutes after removing them from the oven. Then I place them on a cooling rack. This keeps them soft, chewy, and delicious.
Here’s the tie-in to promotional products. Are you ready?
Being a mom to all those kids, Anna would have appreciated some giveaway promotional products to use in the kitchen. Heck, I only have four kids, and I would appreciate some freebies to use in the kitchen. Even three sets of measuring spoons and measuring cups are often not enough at my house. We cook. A lot.
Here are some promotional product baking tools ever baker needs to make Swedish Oatmeal Cookies.
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