Technically, Lydia was my great, great aunt. She was the second of eight children born to Allison Henry Porter (whom I am named after) and his wife Joanna. Lydia's younger sister, Mary, was my great grandmother. As far as I am aware, this is Lydia's original recipe. They have always been hugely popular in my family, and are always referred to as "Aunt Lyda's sugah cookies" (with a Texan accent).
Making these cookies is my oldest cooking memory, and this is the first time I have made them on my own. I recently became the owner of a copy of The Porter Family Cookbook, put together in the late 80s by my grandmother. Not only does it have hundreds of beloved family recipes, it has a family tree dating back 150 years. One of my goals in life is to update this book and add some historical chapters to it, and have it actually published.
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
2 1/4 C flour
1/4 t salt
2 t baking powder
1/2 C Crisco
1 C sugar
2 eggs, beaten (1/2 C eggbeaters)
1/2 t vanilla
1 T milk
Cream the Crisco and sugar together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking powder together.
To the sugar mixture, add the eggs, vanilla, milk.
Then add the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and chill. The dough must be cold enough that the cookies can keep their shape, so a few hours in the refrigerator is best.
Roll the dough thin on a floured board - I use a large plastic place mat, as this makes clean up easier. Cut into shapes or rounds. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
I decided to make these cookies today because it was snowing. All. Day. Below is a photo of the result of one day of snow.
Also, making cookies gave me an excuse to use the awesome cookie cutters I got for Christmas.
Who wouldn't want cookies in the shape of a beehive or a pirate ship?