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Aunt Sallys

July 5, 2011

One of my dad’s favorite cookies when I was growing up was Aunt Sallys cookies.  They came packaged from the grocery store shelf, but my mom also had a recipe for them in her recipe file box, carefully hand written in my older sister’s teenaged cursive writing.

We spent much of the 4th of July weekend with my parents at their lake home in Wisconsin. As a surprise for my dad, I made a batch of Aunt Sallys.  This recipe, at is essentially the same as the one my mom had for Aunt Sallys – resplendent in all their white sugar, vegetable shortening and marshmallow glory.  There really are not any redeeming qualities to these cookies, health wise, but to me they’re pure love:  dessert served up with an ice-cold glass of milk, or dunked in your dad’s after dinner cup of coffee.

1 cup white sugar

2 cups shortening

2 egg yolks

1 cup molasses

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I needed to add more flour than this, to
keep it from sticking)

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

4 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 cup sour milk

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup water

18 large marshmallows

2 egg whites

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup white sugar and shortening until smooth. Stir in the egg yolks and molasses. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger; stir into the molasses mixture alternately with the sour milk. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into rectangular shapes (the original recipe suggests using a Spam can.  I used a tea tin). Place cookies 1 inch apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

To make the frosting, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, vinegar, water and marshmallows. Mix well and place over a pot of simmering water. When the marshmallows have melted, stir in the egg whites. Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer for 7 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until well blended. Frost cooled cookies.   Allow to dry several hours or overnight.

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