Kindred Cookbook: Cash Money Cookies

Growing up, I don’t think my mom or grandma knew about saturated fats, trans fats, the general dangers of sugar, or the terrorist type plot all dessert-like food seem to be cooking up while we cave to our addicted sweet tooth. It was never a concern. Sugar flowed like cocaine in Pulp Fiction. Butter lived in abundance. Growing up on a dairy farm, my mom recalls mornings when they’d use fresh cream as the topping for cereal. No wonder their cheeks look so rosy and plump in photos.

Desserts, namely in the handy form of cookies, were always readily available, happily nestled in wax paper and old Danish butter cookie tins (a theme of butter can be traced throughout my childhood). In school lunches, two or three at a time would be tucked in next to a summer sausage sandwich. I probably cackled a bit when I saw others had to satisfy themselves with Chips Ahoy.

After school, cookies or ice cream treats found their way into my probably already sticky fingers. And after supper, there was a different sweet treat to satisfy a final craving. This it seems is part of my family’s kitchen culture. My great grandmother Marian would always have coffee and cookies for whomever came to visit. Originally from Denmark, this is apparently part of Scandinavian hospitality (a tradition I could sign onto), and these were one of the classics that were commonly present.


Million Dollar Cookies


1 cup shortening (either Crisco or margarine, I used Crisco)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 t. cream of tartar

1 t. baking soda

1 t. vanilla

Cream together with blender shortening, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Then mix in dry ingredients. Chill for 30 minutes to overnight (Mom recommends overnight to allow flavors ((vanilla and sugar?)) to meld. Chilling does make forming the cookie balls easier.

Bake at 350 degrees for  10 minutes. Grandma says recipe makes about 40 cookies, but in my experience, that’s a gross overestimate. Unless your cookies are quarter size, I’m betting you’ll average around two dozen…also depending on how much cookie batter you ingest pre-oven.

I cleverly forgot to cream my sugars and shortening, making the texture of the batter more crumb-like than what you’d expect. That could have led to the more shortbread type consistency of the final product. If you’re looking for an ooey-gooey center, move along. The Million Dollar Cookie doesn’t have time for your half-baked shenanigans.

This cookie basically baked itself and certainly didn’t cost a million dollars. I was able to comfortably whip them up in about 10 minutes, removing time for photo posing of course. And you always have to help yourself to a few fresh from the oven.